Senator Jenkins’ attempt to delay the implementation of the Count My Vote compromise is dead as of Tuesday. The Senate voted down a third hearing of SB43 yesterday in a 9-19-1 vote. SB43 bill would have delayed the Count My Vote reforms until 2018.
In discussions prior to the vote, Republican Senator Todd Weiler gave a powerful testimony against the legislation. Bravo, Senator. Citing that the Count My Vote campaign threw away the 100,000 signatures it had gathered, and the $1M it spent to get them, on the premise that the legislature would hold up its end of the SB54 compromise, Weiler correctly argued that a delay would be deceitful and lacking in integrity.
Aside from these ethical arguments, Weiler also shot down Jenkins’ “my-dog-ate-my-homework” excuses. Jenkins argued that the state Republican Party needed to change its bylaws in order to comply with SB54 and, given the time constraints of the compromise, was not given adequate time to make those changes. Weiler swung back, saying that he knew of no bylaws within the organization that needed amendment and, moreover, that the party has had since March of 2014 to comply. Weiler was on the party’s executive committee on-and-off for 6-8 years.
Whether or not the Senate GOP was moved by Weiler’s bid is difficult to say, but the situation underscores the rift that exists within the state’s single party politics, at least on this subject. The lawsuit filed by the Republican Party appears to be a last ditch effort by status-quo mongers indifferent to the desires of their own constituents. Let’s hope that signature-seeking candidates can find their way into congressional seats in 2016. I, for one, can see the sun of more moderate politics beginning to rise over the Wasatch.