Even though the meeting of the Republican State Central Committee a few weeks ago was concerned largely with finding a replacement for former Attorney General John Swallow, the Count My Vote Initiative made a sneak peak in the end. In fact, the initiative was an underlying anxiety throughout the whole meeting. You might even say the meeting was unofficially sponsored by the Count My Vote initiative.
As you can imagine, the delegates are concerned about the possible citizen initiative. However, I didn’t expect the tone of the meeting to border on paranoia. For today’s Republican party, even Count My Vote is a conspiracy.
Republican delegates are apoplectic at the notion that their power might be taken away by the –gasp— general public or the “low-informed voter,” a phrase I kept hearing throughout the day. At one point, Enid Greene Mickelson, a GOP party leader, even castigated the group for being so dismissive of less involved voters. However, her warning felt more like bluster than any real scolding.
The delegates are clearly feeling the pressure from the Count My Vote initiative. Led by GOP Party Chair James Evans, they were vocally against yielding any of their power to Utah citizens. However, some party leaders and insiders are realizing that if they don’t make some attempts at change, the initiative will most certainly be successful. But even those changes are probably too little too late.
Considering the support behind Count My Vote, there is a good chance the initiative will succeed. But if organizers are worried about the likelihood of success, they should show prospective signers a video of the committee meeting. It convinced me that 150 delegates shouldn’t be making decisions for 3 million Utahns.
As Edmund Burke said, “The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.”