7 LONG TITLE
8 General Description:
9 This bill modifies the Election Code to enact an agreement among the states to elect the
10 president of the United States by national popular vote.
11 Highlighted Provisions:
12 This bill:
13 ▸ defines terms;
14 ▸ provides that presidential electors are elected based on the presidential candidate
15 who receives the most popular votes nationally rather than the presidential
16 candidate who receives the highest number of votes in the state;
17 ▸ enacts an agreement among the states to elect the president and vice president of the
18 United States by national popular vote;
19 ▸ provides certain procedures for election officials;
20 ▸ provides conditions for the agreement to take effect; and
21 ▸ makes technical changes.
22 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
24 Other Special Clauses:
26 Utah Code Sections Affected:
28 20A-4-306, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2011, Third Special Session, Chapter 2
29 20A-13-301, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2011, Third Special Session, Chapter 2
30 20A-13-302, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2001, Chapter 78
32 20A-13-305, Utah Code Annotated 1953
34 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
35 Section 1. Section 20A-4-306 is amended to read:
36 20A-4-306. Statewide canvass.
37 (1) (a) The state board of canvassers shall convene:
38 (i) on the fourth Monday of November, at noon; or
39 (ii) at noon on the day following the receipt by the lieutenant governor of the last of the
40 returns of a statewide special election.
41 (b) The state auditor, the state treasurer, and the attorney general are the state board of
43 (c) Attendance of all members of the state board of canvassers shall be required to
44 constitute a quorum for conducting the canvass.
45 (2) (a) The state board of canvassers shall:
46 (i) meet in the lieutenant governor's office; and
47 (ii) compute and determine the vote for officers and for and against any ballot
48 propositions voted upon by the voters of the entire state or of two or more counties.
49 (b) The lieutenant governor, as secretary of the board shall file a report in his office
50 that details:
51 (i) for each statewide officer and ballot proposition:
52 (A) the name of the statewide office or ballot proposition that appeared on the ballot;
53 (B) the candidates for each statewide office whose names appeared on the ballot, plus
54 any recorded write-in candidates;
55 (C) the number of votes from each county cast for each candidate and for and against
56 each ballot proposition;
57 (D) the total number of votes cast statewide for each candidate and for and against each
58 ballot proposition; and
59 (E) the total number of votes cast statewide; and
60 (ii) for each officer or ballot proposition voted on in two or more counties:
61 (A) the name of each of those offices and ballot propositions that appeared on the
63 (B) the candidates for those offices, plus any recorded write-in candidates;
64 (C) the number of votes from each county cast for each candidate and for and against
65 each ballot proposition; and
66 (D) the total number of votes cast for each candidate and for and against each ballot
68 (c) The lieutenant governor shall:
69 (i) prepare certificates of election for:
70 (A) each successful candidate; and
71 (B) each of the presidential electors [
73 (ii) authenticate each certificate with his seal; and
74 (iii) deliver a certificate of election to:
75 (A) each candidate who had the highest number of votes for each office; and
76 (B) each of the presidential electors [
78 (3) If the lieutenant governor has not received election returns from all counties on the
79 fifth day before the day designated for the meeting of the state board of canvassers, the
80 lieutenant governor shall:
81 (a) send a messenger to the clerk of the board of county canvassers of the delinquent
83 (b) instruct the messenger to demand a certified copy of the board of canvasser's report
84 required by Section 20A-4-304 from the clerk; and
85 (c) pay the messenger the per diem provided by law as compensation.
86 (4) The state board of canvassers may not withhold the declaration of the result or any
87 certificate of election because of any defect or informality in the returns of any election if the
88 board can determine from the returns, with reasonable certainty, what office is intended and
89 who is elected to it.
90 (5) (a) At noon on the fourth Monday after the regular primary election, the lieutenant
91 governor shall:
92 (i) canvass the returns for all multicounty candidates required to file with the office of
93 the lieutenant governor; and
94 (ii) publish and file the results of the canvass in the lieutenant governor's office.
95 (b) Not later than the August 1 after the primary election, the lieutenant governor shall
96 certify the results of:
97 (i) the primary canvass, except for the office of president of the United States, to the
98 county clerks; and
99 (ii) the primary canvass for the office of president of the United States to each
100 registered political party that participated in the primary.
101 (6) (a) At noon on the day that falls seven days after the last day on which a county
102 canvass may occur under Section 20A-4-301 for the Western States Presidential Primary
103 election, the lieutenant governor shall:
104 (i) canvass the returns; and
105 (ii) publish and file the results of the canvass in the lieutenant governor's office.
106 (b) The lieutenant governor shall certify the results of the Western States Presidential
107 Primary canvass to each registered political party that participated in the primary not later than
108 the April 15 after the primary election.
109 Section 2. Section 20A-13-301 is amended to read:
110 20A-13-301. Presidential elections -- Effect of vote.
111 (1) (a) Each registered political party shall choose [
112 electors, and individuals to fill vacancies in the office of presidential electors, for [
113 political party's candidates for president and vice president of the United States according to
114 the procedures established in [
115 (b) Each registered political party shall certify to the lieutenant governor the names and
116 addresses of the [
117 electors by August 31.
118 (2) [
119 for a political party's president and vice president candidates elects the presidential electors
120 selected by that political party.
121 (b) If the Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote
122 is in effect as described in Section 20A-13-305, the agreement governs the appointment of
123 presidential electors.
124 Section 3. Section 20A-13-302 is amended to read:
125 20A-13-302. Certificate of election.
126 (1) The lieutenant governor shall transmit certificates of election to each of the electors
130 (2) Presidential electors may not receive compensation for their services.
131 Section 4. Section 20A-13-305 is enacted to read:
132 20A-13-305. Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National
133 Popular Vote.
134 Pursuant to the terms and conditions of this part, the state seeks to join with other states
135 and enact the Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote in
136 the form substantially as follows:
137 (1) Article I. Membership - Any state of the United States and the District of Columbia
138 may become a member of this agreement by enacting this agreement.
139 (2) Article II. Right of the People in Member States to Vote for President and Vice
140 President - Each member state shall conduct a statewide popular election for president and vice
141 president of the United States.
142 (3) Article III. Manner of Appointing Presidential Electors in Member States:
143 (a) Prior to the time set by law for the meeting and voting by the presidential electors,
144 the chief election official of each member state shall determine the number of votes for each
145 presidential slate in each state of the United States and in the District of Columbia in which
146 votes have been cast in a statewide popular election and shall add such votes together to
147 produce a "national popular vote total" for each presidential slate.
148 (b) The chief election official of each member state shall designate the presidential
149 slate with the largest national popular vote total as the "national popular vote winner."
150 (c) The presidential elector certifying official of each member state shall certify the
151 appointment in that official's own state of the elector slate nominated in that state in association
152 with the national popular vote winner.
153 (d) At least six days before the day fixed by law for the meeting and voting by the
154 presidential electors, each member state shall make a final determination of the number of
155 popular votes cast in the state for each presidential slate and shall communicate an official
156 statement of such determination within 24 hours to the chief election official of each other
157 member state.
158 (e) The chief election official of each member state shall treat as conclusive an official
159 statement containing the number of popular votes in a state for each presidential slate made by
160 the day established by federal law for making a state's final determination conclusive as to the
161 counting of electoral votes by Congress.
162 (f) In event of a tie for the national popular vote winner, the presidential elector
163 certifying official of each member state shall certify the appointment of the elector slate
164 nominated in association with the presidential slate receiving the largest number of popular
165 votes within that official's own state.
166 (g) If, for any reason, the number of presidential electors nominated in a member state
167 in association with the national popular vote winner is less than or greater than that state's
168 number of electoral votes, the presidential candidate on the presidential slate that has been
169 designated as the national popular vote winner shall have the power to nominate the
170 presidential electors for that state and that state's presidential elector certifying official shall
171 certify the appointment of such nominees.
172 (h) The chief election official of each member state shall immediately release to the
173 public all vote counts or statements of votes as they are determined or obtained.
174 (i) This article shall govern the appointment of presidential electors in each member
175 state in any year in which this agreement is, on July 20, in effect in states cumulatively
176 possessing a majority of the electoral votes.
177 (4) Article IV. Other Provisions:
178 (a) This agreement shall take effect when states cumulatively possessing a majority of
179 the electoral votes have enacted this agreement in substantially the same form and the
180 enactments by such states have taken effect in each state.
181 (b) Any member state may withdraw from this agreement, except that a withdrawal
182 occurring six months or less before the end of a president's term shall not become effective
183 until a president or vice president shall have been qualified to serve the next term.
184 (c) The chief executive of each member state shall promptly notify the chief executive
185 of all other states of when this agreement has been enacted and has taken effect in that official's
186 state, when the state has withdrawn from this agreement, and when this agreement takes effect
188 (d) This agreement shall terminate if the electoral college is abolished.
189 (e) If any provision of this agreement is held invalid, the remaining provisions shall not
190 be affected.
191 (5) Article V. Definitions - For purposes of this agreement:
192 (a) "Chief election official" shall mean the state official or body that is authorized to
193 certify the total number of popular votes for each presidential slate.
194 (b) "Chief executive" shall mean the governor of a state of the United States or the
195 mayor of the District of Columbia.
196 (c) "Elector slate" shall mean a slate of candidates who have been nominated in a state
197 for the position of presidential elector in association with a presidential slate.
198 (d) "Presidential elector" shall mean an elector for president and vice president of the
199 United States.
200 (e) "Presidential elector certifying official" shall mean the state official or body that is
201 authorized to certify the appointment of the state's presidential electors.
202 (f) "Presidential slate" shall mean a slate of two persons, the first of whom has been
203 nominated as a candidate for president of the United States and the second of whom has been
204 nominated as a candidate for vice president of the United States, or any legal successors to such
205 persons, regardless of whether both names appear on the ballot presented to the voter in a
206 particular state.
207 (g) "State" shall mean a state of the United States and the District of Columbia.
208 (h) "Statewide popular election" shall mean a general election in which votes are cast
209 for presidential slates by individual voters and counted on a statewide basis.
Legislative Review Note
Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel