Utah Election of Appointed Lieutenant Governor, Amendment B (2014)

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Amendment B
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Type:Constitutional amendment
Constitution:Utah Constitution
Referred by:Utah Legislature
Topic:State Executives
Status:On the ballot
2014 measures
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November 4
Amendment A
Amendment B
Amendment C
Polls

The Utah Election of Appointed Lieutenant Governor, Amendment B is on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Utah as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure, upon voter approval, would remove the requirement that an appointed lieutenant governor stand for election in the next regular general election following his or her appointment. The amendment would provide that an appointed lieutenant governor would not be up for election until the next gubernatorial election.[1]

The Lieutenant Governor of Utah, an elected office, is filled by appointment in the event that the lieutenant governor's office becomes vacant. The Utah Governor, with consent of the Utah Senate, appoints a person to fill the vacancy.[1]

The measure was sponsored by Sen. Stephen Urquhart (R-29) in the Utah Legislature as Senate Joint Resolution 8.[1]

In Utah, an amendment must win not just a majority of all votes cast on that particular proposal, but a majority of the vote of everyone voting in that election. This is known as a double majority.

Text of the measure

Ballot title

The official ballot text reads as follows:[2]

Shall the Utah Constitution be amended to modify the term of office of a person appointed to fill a vacancy in the office of Lieutenant Governor?[3]

Constitutional changes

See also: Article VII, Utah Constitution

The measure would amend Section 10 of Article VII of the Constitution of Utah.[1]

The amendment’s full text can be read here.

Opposition

Arguments

  • Rep. Nielson (R-19), the sole legislator to vote against the measure, said there were no drawbacks to the current system. He elaborated:
Why was I the only vote against this resolution? If the Lieutenant Governor is appointed to replace one that resigns, current practice requires that he stand for election in the next regular general election. This resolution calls for a constitutional amendment saying he or she doesn’t have to fact the voters until the next time the Governor faces the voters.

I don’t see any drawbacks in giving the voters the chance to ratify the governor’s appointment at the next regular opportunity. And I bridle a little bit at carving out a special exemption for the Lieutenant Governor that differs from other statewide elected officials. [3]

—Rep. Jim Nielson (R-19)[4]

Path to the ballot

See also: Amending the Utah Constitution

A two-thirds vote was necessary in the Utah Legislature to place the amendment before the state's voters.

The measure was introduced into the state legislature on January 28, 2014, as Senate Joint Resolution 8. SJR 8 was approved in the Utah Senate on February 20, 2014. The amendment was approved in the Utah House of Representatives on March 13, 2014.[1]

The amendment was enrolled on March 21, 2014.[1]

Senate vote

February 20, 2014 Senate vote

Utah SJR8 Senate Vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 24 100.00%
No00.00%

House vote

March 13, 2014 House vote

Utah SJR8 House Vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 68 98.55%
No11.45%

See also

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References