Utah House leader proposes special election law modification for Stewart’s seat 2023

Rep. Mike Schultz, R-Hooper, Utah’s House Majority Leader, is that the legislature shortens the special election legal deadline to fill the 2nd District Congressional seat in four months instead of six.

Gov. Cox or lawmakers can summon a special session. Schultz doubted lawmakers would call.

Utah law requires 180 days to finalize extraordinary primary and general election schedules. Gov. Cox must schedule the election 90 days before the primary. The legislation also mandates 90 days between the primary and general elections.

The legislation also requires elections on particular election days unless the legislature funds a change.

Unless the legislature intervenes, the general election cannot be conducted until March 2024.

Schultz was asked on the Take 2 Podcast if the special election will be conducted November 7th or earlier.

Shultz predicted it would happen sooner. “The Chaffetz race was 60 days,” he remarked. He meant the 2017 special election when former Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz resigned.

Maura Carabello, presenter of Take 2 Podcast and KSL At Night, said parties need 21 to 28 days to prepare and hold their conventions and collect signatures.

“You think you can speed that [total election time] quicker than 4 months?” she said. “Yes,” Shultz responded.

“Maybe not quicker than 4 months but about that timeline,” he said.

How Utah special election legislation must change

Lawmakers might reduce the period between the Governor’s call and the primary and general elections to arrange a primary special election before November.

They might choose the dates while following their new, perhaps shorter timeline. They must still budget for moving dates.

Moving the primary would cost taxpayers less than moving both elections. Schultz’s 60-day scenario calls for a summer primary and November 7th general election. August 15 is the municipal primary election this year.

Shultz favours fall special elections. The legislature would give a primary “plenty of time,” he said.

Last Monday, Utah GOP Chair Robert Axson told KSL NewsRadio this chronology. Party conventions on July 4th worry him too.

Shultz repeated his comments on the Inside Utah Politics Podcast this weekend.

Schultz predicted a March 2024 extraordinary general election would not last long.

The host of Inside Utah Politics questioned Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City, if Democrats would reject it.

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