8 LONG TITLE
9 General Description:
10 This bill modifies the Election Code to establish procedures for submitting a
11 nonbinding opinion question to the voters of Utah.
12 Highlighted Provisions:
13 This bill:
14 ▸ defines terms;
15 ▸ establishes procedures for submitting a nonbinding opinion question to the voters of
17 ▸ describes the duties of the lieutenant governor and county clerks in submitting the
18 opinion question to the voters;
19 ▸ establishes procedures for the ballot form, voter information pamphlet, public
20 notice, manner of voting, and canvass of returns in relation to the nonbinding
21 opinion question; and
22 ▸ provides a repealer.
23 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
25 Other Special Clauses:
27 Utah Code Sections Affected:
29 20A-6-107, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 315
30 63I-2-220, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2014, Chapter 3
31 63I-2-236, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2015, Chapters 118 and 219
33 36-16b-101, Utah Code Annotated 1953
34 36-16b-102, Utah Code Annotated 1953
35 36-16b-103, Utah Code Annotated 1953
36 36-16b-201, Utah Code Annotated 1953
37 36-16b-202, Utah Code Annotated 1953
38 36-16b-203, Utah Code Annotated 1953
39 36-16b-204, Utah Code Annotated 1953
40 36-16b-301, Utah Code Annotated 1953
41 36-16b-302, Utah Code Annotated 1953
42 36-16b-303, Utah Code Annotated 1953
43 36-16b-304, Utah Code Annotated 1953
45 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
46 Section 1. Section 20A-6-107 is amended to read:
47 20A-6-107. Numbering of ballot propositions, bond propositions, and nonbinding
48 opinion questions -- Duties of election officer and lieutenant governor.
49 (1) (a) Except as provided in Subsections (1)(b) and (1)(c), each ballot proposition
50 shall be listed on the ballot under the heading "Proposition #___", with the number of the ballot
51 proposition placed in the blank.
52 (b) Each proposed amendment to the Utah Constitution shall be listed on the ballot
53 under the heading "Constitutional Amendment ___", with a letter placed in the blank.
54 (c) Each bond proposition that has qualified for the ballot shall be listed on the ballot
55 under the title assigned to each bond proposition under Section 11-14-206.
56 (2) Each nonbinding opinion question submitted to a vote of the people under Title 36,
57 Chapter 16b, Nonbinding Statewide Public Opinion Questions, shall be listed on the ballot
58 under the heading "Nonbinding Opinion Question #___," with the number of the nonbinding
59 opinion question placed in the blank.
61 number ballot propositions receives a ballot proposition that is eligible for inclusion on the
62 ballot, they shall ask the lieutenant governor to assign a number to the ballot proposition.
63 (b) (i) Upon request from an election officer or other person given authority to prepare
64 or number ballot propositions, the lieutenant governor shall assign each ballot proposition a
65 unique number, except as provided under Subsection [
66 (ii) Ballot proposition numbers shall be assigned sequentially, in the order requests for
67 ballot proposition numbers are received.
68 (iii) The same ballot proposition number may be assigned to multiple ballot
69 propositions if:
70 (A) the sponsors of each ballot proposition agree, in writing, to share the number; and
71 (B) the ballot propositions sharing the same number are identical in their terms,
72 purpose, and effect, with jurisdiction being the only significant difference between the ballot
74 (4) When the lieutenant governor receives a joint resolution for a nonbinding opinion
75 question under Section 36-16b-202, the lieutenant governor shall:
76 (a) assign a number to the nonbinding opinion question that is unique to the
77 nonbinding opinion question; and
78 (b) assign numbers to each nonbinding opinion question sequentially, in the order in
79 which the lieutenant governor receives the joint resolutions.
80 Section 2. Section 36-16b-101 is enacted to read:
83 36-16b-101. Title.
84 (1) This chapter is known as "Nonbinding Statewide Public Opinion Questions."
85 (2) This part is known as "General Provisions."
86 Section 3. Section 36-16b-102 is enacted to read:
87 36-16b-102. Definitions.
88 As used in this chapter:
89 (1) "Opinion question" means a nonbinding question that is submitted to all legal
90 voters of the state in accordance with this chapter.
91 (2) "Originating house" means:
92 (a) the Utah House of Representatives if the resolution is a House joint resolution; or
93 (b) the Utah State Senate if the resolution is a Senate joint resolution.
94 (3) "Regular general election" means the same as that term is defined in Section
96 Section 4. Section 36-16b-103 is enacted to read:
97 36-16b-103. Exemption.
98 Title 20A, Chapter 7, Issues Submitted to the Voters, does not apply to an opinion
100 Section 5. Section 36-16b-201 is enacted to read:
102 36-16b-201. Title.
103 This part is known as "Submission of Nonbinding Opinion Questions to Voters."
104 Section 6. Section 36-16b-202 is enacted to read:
105 36-16b-202. Resolution to submit nonbinding opinion questions to voters.
106 (1) The Legislature may submit an opinion question to the legal voters of the state by
107 passing a joint resolution in accordance with the requirements of this section.
108 (2) The joint resolution described in Subsection (1) shall include:
109 (a) the language of the opinion question as it will appear on the ballot;
110 (b) a statement directing that the lieutenant governor submit the language of the
111 opinion question to the legal voters of the state for their approval or rejection; and
112 (c) language designating the date of the regular general election in which the opinion
113 question shall be submitted to the voters.
114 (3) After passage by both houses of the Legislature, the originating house shall submit
115 the joint resolution to the lieutenant governor with instructions that the opinion question
116 specified in the joint resolution be submitted to the legal voters on the regular general election
117 date specified in the resolution.
118 Section 7. Section 36-16b-203 is enacted to read:
119 36-16b-203. Lieutenant governor's duties.
120 (1) After receipt of a joint resolution described in Section 36-16b-202, the lieutenant
121 governor shall:
122 (a) submit the opinion question to the legal voters of Utah as required by the
124 (b) comply with Section 36-16b-302; and
125 (c) except as provided in Section 36-16b-103, comply with all relevant provisions of
126 Title 20A, Election Code, relating to the conduct of elections.
127 (2) The lieutenant governor may establish additional requirements for county clerks to
128 facilitate the conduct of the election.
129 Section 8. Section 36-16b-204 is enacted to read:
130 36-16b-204. Duties of county clerks.
131 Each county clerk shall, with respect to an opinion question described in this chapter,
132 comply with:
133 (1) the requirements of Title 20A, Election Code, relating to regular general elections;
134 (2) the requirements of Section 36-16b-302; and
135 (3) any other requirement imposed by the lieutenant governor.
136 Section 9. Section 36-16b-301 is enacted to read:
138 36-16b-301. Title.
139 This part is known as "Voting and Canvassing."
140 Section 10. Section 36-16b-302 is enacted to read:
141 36-16b-302. Procedures -- Ballot title -- Publication of nonbinding opinion
143 (1) The lieutenant governor, the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel,
144 and each county clerk shall comply with the procedures described in this section whenever the
145 Legislature authorizes an opinion question under Section 36-16b-202.
146 (2) If the Legislature passes a resolution described in Section 36-16b-202, the Office of
147 Legislative Research and General Counsel shall, on or before July 20:
148 (a) draft a ballot title that summarizes the subject matter of the opinion question; and
149 (b) deliver the ballot title to the lieutenant governor.
150 (3) On or before August 31, the lieutenant governor shall certify the number and ballot
151 title of the opinion question to each county clerk in accordance with Section 20A-6-107.
152 (4) No more than 60 days nor less than 14 days before the date of the regular general
153 election, the lieutenant governor shall cause the full text of the opinion question to be
154 published in at least one newspaper in every county of the state where a newspaper is
156 (5) Each county clerk shall cause both the number and title of the opinion question to
158 (a) printed on the ballot to be used on election day;
159 (b) printed on the sample ballot; and
160 (c) otherwise published as required by law.
161 Section 11. Section 36-16b-303 is enacted to read:
162 36-16b-303. Ballot form -- Manner of voting.
163 The lieutenant governor shall ensure that a ballot containing an opinion question
165 (1) a number and ballot title;
166 (2) the text of the opinion question; and
167 (3) (a) the words "FOR" and "AGAINST," each word presented with an adjacent
168 square in which the voter may indicate the voter's vote; or
169 (b) all possible responses to the opinion question, each response presented with an
170 adjacent square in which the voter may indicate the voter's vote.
171 Section 12. Section 36-16b-304 is enacted to read:
172 36-16b-304. Canvass of returns.
173 (1) The county legislative body shall conduct a public canvass of the returns from the
174 opinion question election no later than 14 days after the day on which the regular general
175 election is held.
176 (2) Each county clerk shall:
177 (a) make a certified abstract of the record of the canvassers detailing the votes cast on
178 the opinion question; and
179 (b) seal the transcript, endorse on the transcript, "Election Returns," and transmit the
180 transcript to the lieutenant governor's office so that the lieutenant governor receives the
181 transcript on or before the fifth day before the day designated for the meeting of the state board
182 of canvassers.
183 (3) The state board of canvassers established under Section 20A-4-306 shall meet to
184 compute and determine the vote on the opinion question.
185 (4) The lieutenant governor may, in accordance with the requirements of Title 20A,
186 Election Code, establish additional requirements for county clerks to facilitate the conduct of
187 an election on an opinion question described in this chapter.
188 Section 13. Section 63I-2-220 is amended to read:
189 63I-2-220. Repeal dates, Title 20A.
198 On January 1, 2017, Subsections 20A-6-107(2) and (4) are repealed and the remaining
199 subsections, and references to those subsections, are renumbered accordingly.
200 Section 14. Section 63I-2-236 is amended to read:
201 63I-2-236. Repeal dates -- Title 36.
202 (1) Title 36, Chapter 16b, Nonbinding Statewide Public Opinion Questions, is repealed
203 on January 1, 2017.
Legislative Review Note
Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel