This document includes House Committee Amendments incorporated into the bill on Thu, Feb 23, 2017 at 3:11 PM by jeyring.



Chief Sponsor: Patrice M. Arent

Senate Sponsor: Margaret Dayton


8     General Description:
9          This bill addresses candidate vacancies for certain local offices.
10     Highlighted Provisions:
11          This bill:
12          ▸     provides for the certification of a replacement candidate to fill a vacancy in the
13     candidacy for certain local offices;
14          ▸     removes a provision prohibiting a municipal candidate from withdrawing from an
15     election less than 23 days before an election; and
16          ▸     makes technical changes.
17     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
18          None
19     Other Special Clauses:
20          None
21     Utah Code Sections Affected:
22     AMENDS:
23          20A-9-203, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2014, Chapter 38
24     ENACTS:
25          20A-1-510.1, Utah Code Annotated 1953

27     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:

28          Section 1. Section 20A-1-510.1 is enacted to read:
29          20A-1-510.1. Candidate vacancies in local office.
30          (1) A vacancy that occurs in a candidacy for an elected office in a local political
31     subdivision may be filled in accordance with the requirements of this section if:
32          (a) a nonpartisan primary election is held for the office;
33          (b) the vacancy occurs after the date of the primary election but before:
34          (i) for a county office, August 31; or
35          (ii) for all other offices, 65 days before the day of the applicable general election; and
36          (c) after the vacancy occurs, the number of remaining candidates for the office is less
37     than or equal to the number of open positions to be filled for that office in the applicable
38     general election.
39          (2) An election officer shall Ĥ→ :
39a          (a) ←Ĥ fill a candidate vacancy described in Subsection (1) by
40     certifying the next available candidate for the office for the general election ballot who
41     received the highest number of votes in the primary election without receiving a sufficient
42     number of votes to qualify for the general election ballot Ĥ→ [
.] ; and
42a          (b) immediately notify the candidate described in Subsection (2)(a) that the candidate is
42b     certified for the general election ballot. ←Ĥ
43          Section 2. Section 20A-9-203 is amended to read:
44          20A-9-203. Declarations of candidacy -- Municipal general elections.
45          (1) (a) (i) [A person] An individual may become a candidate for any municipal office
46     if:
47          (A) the [person] individual is a registered voter; and
48          (B) (I) the [person] individual has resided within the municipality in which that
49     [person] individual seeks to hold elective office for the 12 consecutive months immediately
50     before the date of the election; or
51          (II) if the territory in which the [person] individual resides was annexed into the
52     municipality, the [person] individual has resided within the annexed territory or the
53     municipality the 12 consecutive months immediately before the date of the election.
54          (ii) For purposes of determining whether [a person] an individual meets the residency
55     requirement of Subsection (1)(a)(i)(B)(I) in a municipality that was incorporated less than 12
56     months before the election, the municipality shall be considered to have been incorporated 12
57     months before the date of the election.
58          (b) In addition to the requirements of Subsection (1)(a), each candidate for a municipal
59     council position shall, if elected from a district, be a resident of the council district from which
60     elected.
61          (c) In accordance with Utah Constitution, Article IV, Section 6, [any mentally
62     incompetent person, any person convicted of a felony, or any person] a mentally incompetent
63     individual, an individual convicted of a felony, or an individual convicted of treason or a crime
64     against the elective franchise may not hold office in this state until the right to hold elective
65     office is restored under Section 20A-2-101.3 or 20A-2-101.5.
66          (2) (a) [A person] An individual seeking to become a candidate for a municipal office
67     shall:
68          (i) file a declaration of candidacy, in person with the city recorder or town clerk, during
69     the office hours described in Section 10-3-301 and not later than the close of those office
70     hours, between June 1 and June 7 of any odd-numbered year; and
71          (ii) pay the filing fee, if one is required by municipal ordinance.
72          (b) Any resident of a municipality may nominate a candidate for a municipal office by:
73          (i) filing a nomination petition with the city recorder or town clerk during the office
74     hours described in Section 10-3-301 and not later than the close of those office hours, between
75     June 1 and June 7 of any odd-numbered year; and
76          (ii) paying the filing fee, if one is required by municipal ordinance.
77          (3) (a) Before the filing officer may accept any declaration of candidacy or nomination
78     petition, the filing officer shall:
79          (i) read to the prospective candidate or person filing the petition the constitutional and
80     statutory qualification requirements for the office that the candidate is seeking; and
81          (ii) require the candidate or person filing the petition to state whether the candidate
82     meets those requirements.
83          (b) If the prospective candidate does not meet the qualification requirements for the
84     office, the filing officer may not accept the declaration of candidacy or nomination petition.
85          (c) If it appears that the prospective candidate meets the requirements of candidacy, the
86     filing officer shall:
87          (i) inform the candidate that the candidate's name will appear on the ballot as it is
88     written on the declaration of candidacy;
89          (ii) provide the candidate with a copy of the current campaign financial disclosure laws

90     for the office the candidate is seeking and inform the candidate that failure to comply will
91     result in disqualification as a candidate and removal of the candidate's name from the ballot;
92          (iii) provide the candidate with a copy of Section 20A-7-801 regarding the Statewide
93     Electronic Voter Information Website Program and inform the candidate of the submission
94     deadline under Subsection 20A-7-801(4)(a);
95          (iv) provide the candidate with a copy of the pledge of fair campaign practices
96     described under Section 20A-9-206 and inform the candidate that:
97          (A) signing the pledge is voluntary; and
98          (B) signed pledges shall be filed with the filing officer; and
99          (v) accept the declaration of candidacy or nomination petition.
100          (d) If the candidate elects to sign the pledge of fair campaign practices, the filing
101     officer shall:
102          (i) accept the candidate's pledge; and
103          (ii) if the candidate has filed for a partisan office, provide a certified copy of the
104     candidate's pledge to the chair of the county or state political party of which the candidate is a
105     member.
106          (4) Notwithstanding the requirement in Subsection (2)(a)(i) to file a declaration of
107     candidacy in person, [a person] an individual may designate an agent to file the form described
108     in Subsection (5) in person with the city recorder or town clerk if:
109          (a) the [person] individual is located outside the state during the filing period because:
110          (i) of employment with the state or the United States; or
111          (ii) the [person] individual is a member of:
112          (A) the active or reserve components of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or
113     Coast Guard of the United States who is on active duty;
114          (B) the Merchant Marine, the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, or the
115     commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United
116     States; or
117          (C) the National Guard on activated status;
118          (b) the [person] individual makes the declaration of candidacy described in Subsection
119     (5) to a person qualified to administer an oath;
120          (c) the [person] individual communicates with the city recorder or town clerk using an

121     electronic device that allows the [person] individual and the city recorder or town clerk to see
122     and hear each other; and
123          (d) the [person] individual provides the city recorder or town clerk with an email
124     address to which the filing officer may send the copies described in Subsection (3).
125          (5) (a) The declaration of candidacy shall substantially comply with the following
126     form:
127          "I, (print name) ____, being first sworn, say that I reside at ____ Street, City of ____,
128     County of ____, state of Utah, Zip Code ____, Telephone Number (if any) ____; that I am a
129     registered voter; and that I am a candidate for the office of ____ (stating the term). I will meet
130     the legal qualifications required of candidates for this office. I will file all campaign financial
131     disclosure reports as required by law and I understand that failure to do so will result in my
132     disqualification as a candidate for this office and removal of my name from the ballot. I
133     request that my name be printed upon the applicable official ballots. (Signed)
134     _______________
135          Subscribed and sworn to (or affirmed) before me by ____ on this
136     __________(month\day\year).
137          (Signed) _______________ (Clerk or other officer qualified to administer oath)"
138          (b) An agent designated to file a declaration of candidacy under Subsection (4) may not
139     sign the form described in Subsection (5)(a).
140          (6) (a) A registered voter may be nominated for municipal office by submitting a
141     petition signed, with a holographic signature, by:
142          (i) 25 residents of the municipality who are at least 18 years old; or
143          (ii) 20% of the residents of the municipality who are at least 18 years old.
144          (b) (i) The petition shall substantially conform to the following form:

146          The undersigned residents of (name of municipality) being 18 years old or older
147     nominate (name of nominee) to the office of ____ for the (two or four-year term, whichever is
148     applicable)."
149          (ii) The remainder of the petition shall contain lines and columns for the signatures of
150     persons signing the petition and their addresses and telephone numbers.
151          (7) If the declaration of candidacy or nomination petition fails to state whether the

152     nomination is for the two or four-year term, the clerk shall consider the nomination to be for
153     the four-year term.
154          (8) (a) The clerk shall verify with the county clerk that all candidates are registered
155     voters.
156          (b) Any candidate who is not registered to vote is disqualified and the clerk may not
157     print the candidate's name on the ballot.
158          (9) Immediately after expiration of the period for filing a declaration of candidacy, the
159     clerk shall:
160          (a) cause the names of the candidates as they will appear on the ballot to be published:
161          (i) in at least two successive publications of a newspaper with general circulation in the
162     municipality; and
163          (ii) as required in Section 45-1-101; and
164          (b) notify the lieutenant governor of the names of the candidates as they will appear on
165     the ballot.
166          (10) [A] Except as provided in Subsection (11)(c), an individual may not amend a
167     declaration of candidacy or nomination petition filed under this section [may not be amended
168     after the expiration of the period for filing a declaration of candidacy] after the candidate filing
169     period ends.
170          (11) (a) A declaration of candidacy or nomination petition [filed] that an individual
171     files under this section is valid unless a person files a written objection [is filed] with the clerk
172     within five days after the last day for filing.
173          (b) If [an] a person files an objection [is made], the clerk shall:
174          (i) mail or personally deliver notice of the objection to the affected candidate
175     immediately; and
176          (ii) decide any objection within 48 hours after [it] the objection is filed.
177          (c) If the clerk sustains the objection, the candidate may, within three days after the day
178     on which the clerk sustains the objection, correct the problem for which the objection is
179     sustained by amending the candidate's declaration of candidacy or nomination petition [within
180     three days after the objection is sustained], or by filing a new declaration [within three days
181     after the objection is sustained] of candidacy.
182          (d) (i) The clerk's decision upon objections to form is final.

183          (ii) The clerk's decision upon substantive matters is reviewable by a district court if
184     prompt application is made to the district court.
185          (iii) The decision of the district court is final unless the Supreme Court, in the exercise
186     of its discretion, agrees to review the lower court decision.
187          [(12) Any person who filed a declaration of candidacy and was nominated, and any
188     person who was nominated by a nomination petition, may, any time up to 23 days before the
189     election, withdraw the nomination by filing a written affidavit with the clerk.]
190          (12) A candidate who qualifies for the ballot under this section may withdraw as a
191     candidate by filing a written affidavit with the municipal clerk.

Legislative Review Note
Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel