7 LONG TITLE
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:
19 Other Special Clauses:
21 Utah Code Sections Affected:
23 20A-9-203, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2014, Chapter 38
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 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.
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) [
47 (A) the [
48 (B) (I) the [
50 before the date of the election; or
51 (II) if the territory in which the [
52 municipality, the [
53 municipality the 12 consecutive months immediately before the date of the election.
54 (ii) For purposes of determining whether [
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
61 (c) In accordance with Utah Constitution, Article IV, Section 6, [
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) [
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
106 (4) Notwithstanding the requirement in Subsection (2)(a)(i) to file a declaration of
107 candidacy in person, [
108 in Subsection (5) in person with the city recorder or town clerk if:
109 (a) the [
110 (i) of employment with the state or the United States; or
111 (ii) the [
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 [
119 (5) to a person qualified to administer an oath;
120 (c) the [
121 electronic device that allows the [
122 and hear each other; and
123 (d) the [
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
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)
135 Subscribed and sworn to (or affirmed) before me by ____ on this
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
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
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) [
167 declaration of candidacy or nomination petition filed under this section [
169 period ends.
170 (11) (a) A declaration of candidacy or nomination petition [
171 files under this section is valid unless a person files a written objection [
172 within five days after the last day for filing.
173 (b) If [
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 [
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 [
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.
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