Chief Sponsor: Norman K Thurston

Senate Sponsor: Deidre M. Henderson


8     General Description:
9          This bill modifies the Election Code to establish procedures for submitting a
10     nonbinding opinion question to the voters of Utah.
11     Highlighted Provisions:
12          This bill:
13          ▸     defines terms;
14          ▸     establishes procedures for submitting a nonbinding opinion question to the voters of
15     Utah;
16          ▸     describes the duties of the lieutenant governor and county clerks in submitting the
17     opinion question to the voters;
18          ▸     establishes procedures for the ballot form, voter information pamphlet, public
19     notice, manner of voting, and canvass of returns in relation to the nonbinding
20     opinion question; and
21          ▸     provides a repealer.
22     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
23          None
24     Other Special Clauses:
25          None
26     Utah Code Sections Affected:
27     AMENDS:

28          20A-6-107, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 315
29          63I-2-220, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2016, Chapters 28 and 348
30          63I-2-236, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2015, Chapters 118 and 219
31     ENACTS:
32          36-16b-101, Utah Code Annotated 1953
33          36-16b-102, Utah Code Annotated 1953
34          36-16b-103, Utah Code Annotated 1953
35          36-16b-201, Utah Code Annotated 1953
36          36-16b-202, Utah Code Annotated 1953
37          36-16b-203, Utah Code Annotated 1953
38          36-16b-204, Utah Code Annotated 1953
39          36-16b-301, Utah Code Annotated 1953
40          36-16b-302, Utah Code Annotated 1953
41          36-16b-303, Utah Code Annotated 1953
42          36-16b-304, Utah Code Annotated 1953

44     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
45          Section 1. Section 20A-6-107 is amended to read:
46          20A-6-107. Numbering of ballot propositions and bond propositions -- Duties of
47     election officer and lieutenant governor.
48          (1) (a) Except as provided in Subsections (1)(b) and (1)(c), each ballot proposition
49     shall be listed on the ballot under the heading "Proposition #___", with the number of the ballot
50     proposition placed in the blank.
51          (b) Each proposed amendment to the Utah Constitution shall be listed on the ballot
52     under the heading "Constitutional Amendment ___", with a letter placed in the blank.
53          (c) Each bond proposition that has qualified for the ballot shall be listed on the ballot
54     under the title assigned to each bond proposition under Section 11-14-206.
55          (2) Each nonbinding opinion question submitted to a vote of the people under Title 36,
56     Chapter 16b, Nonbinding Statewide Public Opinion Questions, shall be listed on the ballot
57     under the heading "Nonbinding Opinion Question #___," with the number of the nonbinding
58     opinion question placed in the blank.

59          [(2)] (3) (a) When an election officer or other person given authority to prepare or
60     number ballot propositions receives a ballot proposition that is eligible for inclusion on the
61     ballot, they shall ask the lieutenant governor to assign a number to the ballot proposition.
62          (b) (i) Upon request from an election officer or other person given authority to prepare
63     or number ballot propositions, the lieutenant governor shall assign each ballot proposition a
64     unique number, except as provided under Subsection [(2)] (3)(b)(iii).
65          (ii) Ballot proposition numbers shall be assigned sequentially, in the order requests for
66     ballot proposition numbers are received.
67          (iii) The same ballot proposition number may be assigned to multiple ballot
68     propositions if:
69          (A) the sponsors of each ballot proposition agree, in writing, to share the number; and
70          (B) the ballot propositions sharing the same number are identical in their terms,
71     purpose, and effect, with jurisdiction being the only significant difference between the ballot
72     propositions.
73          (4) When the lieutenant governor receives a joint resolution for a nonbinding opinion
74     question under Section 36-16b-202, the lieutenant governor shall:
75          (a) assign a number to the nonbinding opinion question that is unique to the
76     nonbinding opinion question; and
77          (b) assign numbers to each nonbinding opinion question sequentially, in the order in
78     which the lieutenant governor receives the joint resolutions.
79          Section 2. Section 36-16b-101 is enacted to read:

Part 1. General Provisions

82          36-16b-101. Title.
83          (1) This chapter is known as "Nonbinding Statewide Public Opinion Questions."
84          (2) This part is known as "General Provisions."
85          Section 3. Section 36-16b-102 is enacted to read:
86          36-16b-102. Definitions.
87          As used in this chapter:
88          (1) "Opinion question" means a nonbinding question that is submitted to all legal
89     voters of the state in accordance with this chapter.

90          (2) "Originating house" means:
91          (a) the Utah House of Representatives if the resolution is a House joint resolution; or
92          (b) the Utah State Senate if the resolution is a Senate joint resolution.
93          (3) "Regular general election" means the same as that term is defined in Section
94     20A-1-102.
95          Section 4. Section 36-16b-103 is enacted to read:
96          36-16b-103. Exemption.
97          Title 20A, Chapter 7, Issues Submitted to the Voters, does not apply to an opinion
98     question.
99          Section 5. Section 36-16b-201 is enacted to read:
Part 2. Submission of Nonbinding Opinion Questions to Voters

101          36-16b-201. Title.
102          This part is known as "Submission of Nonbinding Opinion Questions to Voters."
103          Section 6. Section 36-16b-202 is enacted to read:
104          36-16b-202. Resolution to submit nonbinding opinion questions to voters.
105          (1) The Legislature may submit an opinion question to the legal voters of the state by
106     passing a joint resolution in accordance with the requirements of this section.
107          (2) The joint resolution described in Subsection (1) shall include:
108          (a) the language of the opinion question as it will appear on the ballot;
109          (b) a statement directing that the lieutenant governor submit the language of the
110     opinion question to the legal voters of the state for their approval or rejection; and
111          (c) language designating the date of the regular general election in which the opinion
112     question shall be submitted to the voters.
113          (3) After passage by both houses of the Legislature, the originating house shall submit
114     the joint resolution to the lieutenant governor with instructions that the opinion question
115     specified in the joint resolution be submitted to the legal voters on the regular general election
116     date specified in the resolution.
117          Section 7. Section 36-16b-203 is enacted to read:
118          36-16b-203. Lieutenant governor's duties.
119          (1) After receipt of a joint resolution described in Section 36-16b-202, the lieutenant
120     governor shall:

121          (a) submit the opinion question to the legal voters of Utah as required by the
122     resolution;
123          (b) comply with Section 36-16b-302; and
124          (c) except as provided in Section 36-16b-103, comply with all relevant provisions of
125     Title 20A, Election Code, relating to the conduct of elections.
126          (2) The lieutenant governor may establish additional requirements for county clerks to
127     facilitate the conduct of the election.
128          Section 8. Section 36-16b-204 is enacted to read:
129          36-16b-204. Duties of county clerks.
130          Each county clerk shall, with respect to an opinion question described in this chapter,
131     comply with:
132          (1) the requirements of Title 20A, Election Code, relating to regular general elections;
133          (2) the requirements of Section 36-16b-302; and
134          (3) any other requirement imposed by the lieutenant governor.
135          Section 9. Section 36-16b-301 is enacted to read:
Part 3. Voting and Canvassing

137          36-16b-301. Title.
138          This part is known as "Voting and Canvassing."
139          Section 10. Section 36-16b-302 is enacted to read:
140          36-16b-302. Procedures -- Ballot title -- Publication of nonbinding opinion
141     question.
142          (1) The lieutenant governor, the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel,
143     and each county clerk shall comply with the procedures described in this section whenever the
144     Legislature authorizes an opinion question under Section 36-16b-202.
145          (2) If the Legislature passes a resolution described in Section 36-16b-202, the Office of
146     Legislative Research and General Counsel shall, on or before July 20:
147          (a) draft a ballot title that summarizes the subject matter of the opinion question; and
148          (b) deliver the ballot title to the lieutenant governor.
149          (3) On or before August 31, the lieutenant governor shall certify the number and ballot
150     title of the opinion question to each county clerk in accordance with Section 20A-6-107.
151          (4) No more than 60 days nor less than 14 days before the date of the regular general

152     election, the lieutenant governor shall cause the full text of the opinion question to be
153     published in at least one newspaper in every county of the state where a newspaper is
154     published.
155          (5) Each county clerk shall cause both the number and title of the opinion question to
156     be:
157          (a) printed on the ballot to be used on election day;
158          (b) printed on the sample ballot; and
159          (c) otherwise published as required by law.
160          Section 11. Section 36-16b-303 is enacted to read:
161          36-16b-303. Ballot form -- Manner of voting.
162          The lieutenant governor shall ensure that a ballot containing an opinion question
163     includes:
164          (1) a number and ballot title;
165          (2) the text of the opinion question; and
166          (3) (a) the words "FOR" and "AGAINST," each word presented with an adjacent
167     square in which the voter may indicate the voter's vote; or
168          (b) all possible responses to the opinion question, each response presented with an
169     adjacent square in which the voter may indicate the voter's vote.
170          Section 12. Section 36-16b-304 is enacted to read:
171          36-16b-304. Canvass of returns.
172          (1) The county legislative body shall conduct a public canvass of the returns from the
173     opinion question election no later than 14 days after the day on which the regular general
174     election is held.
175          (2) Each county clerk shall:
176          (a) make a certified abstract of the record of the canvassers detailing the votes cast on
177     the opinion question; and
178          (b) seal the transcript, endorse on the transcript, "Election Returns," and transmit the
179     transcript to the lieutenant governor's office so that the lieutenant governor receives the
180     transcript on or before the fifth day before the day designated for the meeting of the state board
181     of canvassers.
182          (3) The state board of canvassers established under Section 20A-4-306 shall meet to

183     compute and determine the vote on the opinion question.
184          (4) The lieutenant governor may, in accordance with the requirements of Title 20A,
185     Election Code, establish additional requirements for county clerks to facilitate the conduct of
186     an election on an opinion question described in this chapter.
187          Section 13. Section 63I-2-220 is amended to read:
188          63I-2-220. Repeal dates, Title 20A.
189          [On January 1, 2017:]
190          [(1) in Subsection 20A-1-102(71), the language that states "State Board of Education
191     and" is repealed;]
192          [(2) in Subsection 20A-9-201(4)(a), the language that states "and State Board of
193     Education candidates" is repealed;]
194          [(3) Subsection 20A-9-201(9) is repealed;]
195          [(4) in Subsection 20A-9-403(4)(c), the language that states "State Board of Education
196     and" is repealed;]
197          [(5) in Subsection 20A-9-403(5)(a), the language that states "State Board of Education
198     or" is repealed; and]
199          [(6) Section 20A-14-104 is repealed.]
200          On January 1, 2019, Subsections 20A-6-107(2) and (4) are repealed and the remaining
201     subsections, and references to those subsections, are renumbered accordingly.
202          Section 14. Section 63I-2-236 is amended to read:
203          63I-2-236. Repeal dates -- Title 36.
204          (1) Title 36, Chapter 16b, Nonbinding Statewide Public Opinion Questions, is repealed
205     on January 1, 2019.
206          [(1)] (2) Sections 36-28-101 through 36-28-104 are repealed July 1, 2019.
207          [(2) Section 36-29-102 is repealed July 1, 2016.]

Legislative Review Note
Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel