Sutherland Institute held its annual legislative policy conference yesterday, which included a rousing debate on the caucus convention system and the Count My Vote ballot initiative drive. KNRS’s Rod Arquette moderated the panel, whose participants included Sutherland’s Paul Mero; James Evans, chairman of the Utah State Republican Party; LaVarr Webb, president of The Exoro Group and member of the Count My Vote board; and Kirk Jowers, president of the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics and Count My Vote board member.
One of the panel discussion’s early questions was centered on voter participation. While the Count My Vote panelists sparred with Evans over what Utah’s voter turnout is attributable to, Mero turned the question on its head, saying he was more interested in quality over quantity. To get the best government, we need an engaged, informed citizenry who care about the common good. The issue shouldn’t just be how do we get as many people as possible to vote, but how do we get citizens engaged in the process.
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