Chief Sponsor: Patrice M. Arent

Senate Sponsor: Margaret Dayton


8     Committee Note:
9          The Government Operations Interim Committee recommended this bill.
10     General Description:
11          This bill addresses candidate vacancies for certain local offices.
12     Highlighted Provisions:
13          This bill:
14          ▸     provides for the certification of a replacement candidate to fill a vacancy in the
15     candidacy for certain local offices;
16          ▸     removes a provision prohibiting a municipal candidate from withdrawing from an
17     election less than 23 days before an election; and
18          ▸     makes technical changes.
19     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
20          None
21     Other Special Clauses:
22          None
23     Utah Code Sections Affected:
24     AMENDS:
25          20A-9-203, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2017, Chapter 91
26     ENACTS:
27          20A-1-510.1, Utah Code Annotated 1953


29     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
30          Section 1. Section 20A-1-510.1 is enacted to read:
31          20A-1-510.1. Candidate vacancies in local office.
32          (1) A vacancy that occurs in a candidacy for an elected office in a local political
33     subdivision may be filled in accordance with the requirements of this section if:
34          (a) a nonpartisan primary election is held for the office;
35          (b) the vacancy occurs after the date of the primary election but before:
36          (i) for a county office, August 31; or
37          (ii) for all other offices, 65 days before the day of the applicable general election; and
38          (c) after the vacancy occurs, the number of remaining candidates for the office is less
39     than or equal to the number of open positions to be filled for that office in the applicable
40     general election.
41          (2) An election officer shall:
42          (a) fill a candidate vacancy described in Subsection (1) by certifying the next available
43     candidate for the office for the general election ballot who received the highest number of votes
44     in the primary election without receiving a sufficient number of votes to qualify for the general
45     election ballot; and
46          (b) immediately notify the candidate described in Subsection (2)(a) that the candidate
47     is certified for the general election ballot.
48          Section 2. Section 20A-9-203 is amended to read:
49          20A-9-203. Declarations of candidacy -- Municipal general elections.
50          (1) An individual may become a candidate for any municipal office if:
51          (a) the individual is a registered voter; and
52          (b) (i) the individual has resided within the municipality in which the individual seeks
53     to hold elective office for the 12 consecutive months immediately before the date of the
54     election; or
55          (ii) the territory in which the individual resides was annexed into the municipality, the
56     individual has resided within the annexed territory or the municipality the 12 consecutive
57     months immediately before the date of the election.
58          (2) (a) For purposes of determining whether an individual meets the residency

59     requirement of Subsection (1)(b)(i) in a municipality that was incorporated less than 12 months
60     before the election, the municipality is considered to have been incorporated 12 months before
61     the date of the election.
62          (b) In addition to the requirements of Subsection (1), each candidate for a municipal
63     council position shall, if elected from a district, be a resident of the council district from which
64     the candidate is elected.
65          (c) In accordance with Utah Constitution, Article IV, Section 6, [any mentally
66     incompetent person, any person convicted of a felony, or any person] a mentally incompetent
67     individual, an individual convicted of a felony, or an individual convicted of treason or a crime
68     against the elective franchise may not hold office in this state until the right to hold elective
69     office is restored under Section 20A-2-101.3 or 20A-2-101.5.
70          (3) (a) An individual seeking to become a candidate for a municipal office shall,
71     regardless of the nomination method by which the individual is seeking to become a candidate:
72          (i) file a declaration of candidacy, in person with the city recorder or town clerk, during
73     the office hours described in Section 10-3-301 and not later than the close of those office
74     hours, between June 1 and June 7 of any odd-numbered year; and
75          (ii) pay the filing fee, if one is required by municipal ordinance.
76          (b) Any resident of a municipality may nominate a candidate for a municipal office by:
77          (i) filing a nomination petition with the city recorder or town clerk during the office
78     hours described in Section 10-3-301 and not later than the close of those office hours, between
79     June 1 and June 7 of any odd-numbered year; and
80          (ii) paying the filing fee, if one is required by municipal ordinance.
81          (4) (a) Before the filing officer may accept any declaration of candidacy or nomination
82     petition, the filing officer shall:
83          (i) read to the prospective candidate or individual filing the petition the constitutional
84     and statutory qualification requirements for the office that the candidate is seeking; and
85          (ii) require the candidate or individual filing the petition to state whether the candidate
86     meets those requirements.
87          (b) If the prospective candidate does not meet the qualification requirements for the
88     office, the filing officer may not accept the declaration of candidacy or nomination petition.
89          (c) If it appears that the prospective candidate meets the requirements of candidacy, the

90     filing officer shall:
91          (i) inform the candidate that the candidate's name will appear on the ballot as it is
92     written on the declaration of candidacy;
93          (ii) provide the candidate with a copy of the current campaign financial disclosure laws
94     for the office the candidate is seeking and inform the candidate that failure to comply will
95     result in disqualification as a candidate and removal of the candidate's name from the ballot;
96          (iii) provide the candidate with a copy of Section 20A-7-801 regarding the Statewide
97     Electronic Voter Information Website Program and inform the candidate of the submission
98     deadline under Subsection 20A-7-801(4)(a);
99          (iv) provide the candidate with a copy of the pledge of fair campaign practices
100     described under Section 20A-9-206 and inform the candidate that:
101          (A) signing the pledge is voluntary; and
102          (B) signed pledges shall be filed with the filing officer; and
103          (v) accept the declaration of candidacy or nomination petition.
104          (d) If the candidate elects to sign the pledge of fair campaign practices, the filing
105     officer shall:
106          (i) accept the candidate's pledge; and
107          (ii) if the candidate has filed for a partisan office, provide a certified copy of the
108     candidate's pledge to the chair of the county or state political party of which the candidate is a
109     member.
110          (5) Notwithstanding the requirement in Subsection (3)(a)(i) to file a declaration of
111     candidacy in person, an individual may designate an agent to file the form described in
112     Subsection (6) in person with the city recorder or town clerk if:
113          (a) the individual is located outside the state during the filing period because:
114          (i) of employment with the state or the United States; or
115          (ii) the individual is a member of:
116          (A) the active or reserve components of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or
117     Coast Guard of the United States who is on active duty;
118          (B) the Merchant Marine, the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, or the
119     commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United
120     States; or

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

150          The undersigned residents of (name of municipality) being 18 years old or older
151     nominate (name of nominee) to the office of ____ for the (two or four-year term, whichever is

152     applicable)."
153          (ii) The remainder of the petition shall contain lines and columns for the signatures of
154     individuals signing the petition and the individuals' addresses and telephone numbers.
155          (8) If the declaration of candidacy or nomination petition fails to state whether the
156     nomination is for the two-year or four-year term, the clerk shall consider the nomination to be
157     for the four-year term.
158          (9) (a) The clerk shall verify with the county clerk that all candidates are registered
159     voters.
160          (b) Any candidate who is not registered to vote is disqualified and the clerk may not
161     print the candidate's name on the ballot.
162          (10) Immediately after expiration of the period for filing a declaration of candidacy, the
163     clerk shall:
164          (a) cause the names of the candidates as they will appear on the ballot to be published:
165          (i) in at least two successive publications of a newspaper with general circulation in the
166     municipality; and
167          (ii) as required in Section 45-1-101; and
168          (b) notify the lieutenant governor of the names of the candidates as they will appear on
169     the ballot.
170          (11) [A] Except as provided in Subsection (12)(c), an individual may not amend a
171     declaration of candidacy or nomination petition filed under this section [may not be amended
172     after the expiration of the period for filing a declaration of candidacy] after the candidate filing
173     period ends.
174          (12) (a) A declaration of candidacy or nomination petition [filed] that an individual
175     files under this section is valid unless a person files a written objection [is filed] with the clerk
176     within five days after the last day for filing.
177          (b) If [an] a person files an objection [is made], the clerk shall:
178          (i) mail or personally deliver notice of the objection to the affected candidate
179     immediately; and
180          (ii) decide any objection within 48 hours after the objection is filed.
181          (c) If the clerk sustains the objection, the candidate may, within three days after the day
182     on which the clerk sustains the objection, correct the problem for which the objection is

183     sustained by amending the candidate's declaration of candidacy or nomination petition [within
184     three days after the objection is sustained], or by filing a new declaration [within three days
185     after the objection is sustained] of candidacy.
186          (d) (i) The clerk's decision upon objections to form is final.
187          (ii) The clerk's decision upon substantive matters is reviewable by a district court if
188     prompt application is made to the district court.
189          (iii) The decision of the district court is final unless the Supreme Court, in the exercise
190     of its discretion, agrees to review the lower court decision.
191          [(13) An individual who files a declaration of candidacy and is nominated, and an
192     individual who is nominated by a nomination petition, may, any time up to 23 days before the
193     election, withdraw the nomination by filing a written affidavit with the clerk.]
194          (13) A candidate who qualifies for the ballot under this section may withdraw as a
195     candidate by filing a written affidavit with the municipal clerk.

Legislative Review Note
Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel