Utah HB 0174

Utah House Bill 0174

Thanks to Representative Robertson and the Utah Center for Electoral Reform, there is now a bill in the Utah Legislature which would allow local municipalities to adopt STAR Voting or Approval Voting. Utah HB 0174 is an amendment to an earlier open options bill which allowed local municipalities to adopt Instant Runoff Voting. That bill was initially intended to include multiple voting reforms as options, but due to pressure from FairVote and others, other alternative voting methods were removed from the bill before it was passed. We are proud of the Utah leadership for keeping up the fight to legalize better voting reforms which ensure that every vote is equal. 

 

2/19/21 UPDATE: We just got word from Rep. Robertson that the bill made it out of the House Rules Committee and is headed to the House Political Subdivisions Committee.

The committee hearing this Tuesday at 9:00 AM Mountain Time. You can participate virtually and make public comment here.

2/23/21 UPDATE: A motion was made to hold the bill with the explanation that there needs to be a "summer study" to evaluate how different interest groups (voters, clerks, etc.) would respond to having voting options. 

 

ACTION ITEMS:

  • Submit public comments at the link here.
  • Email Utah State Representatives on the House Political Subdivisions Committee and tell them to support STAR Voting and vote YES on HB 0174!


Legislator contact info here: https://le.utah.gov/committee/committee.jsp?year=2021&com=HSTPOL


Sample email text:
I'm writing to you to urge you to please vote YES on HB 0174, an open options bill which would allow Utah municipalities to pilot modern voting methods like STAR voting and Approval voting.

Currently the only alternative voting method the law allows is Instant Runoff Voting (Ranked Choice), but this version of Ranked Choice, which was invented in 1870, is outdated and studies show it to be one of the most expensive and least representative alternatives out there, offering outcomes only slightly better than the current system.

If we are going to change the voting method we should get it right. Approval voting is a very simple reform which offers substantial gains compared to the current system. Taking it a step further, STAR Voting offers high level preference voting, fully delivering on all the goals of RCV while addressing legitimate concerns.

 

WHY STAR?

  1. STAR eliminates vote-splitting and spoilers.
  2. If your favorite can't win your vote goes to the finalist you prefer. 
  3. Levels the playing field for unbiased, accurate, diverse representation.
  4. Secure, transparent, auditable.
  5. Combats polarization and the influence of money in politics. 


Learn more about STAR Voting and the science comparing voting methods here: http://starvoting.us

Hear proponents for all three voting methods present in a well moderated discussion put on by the YangGang: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KO3Oy0VdMfI

Thank you in advance for your leadership on this issue.