**Representative Douglas R. Welton**proposes the following substitute bill:

1

**MUNICIPAL ALTERNATE VOTING METHODS AMENDMENTS**

2

3

4

**Chief Sponsor: Douglas R. Welton**

5

6

7

**LONG TITLE**

8

**General Description:**

9 This bill amends provisions relating to the Municipal Alternate Voting Methods Pilot

10 Project.

11

**Highlighted Provisions:**

12 This bill:

13 ▸ defines terms;

14 ▸ replaces references to the "canvassing phase" with the term "ballot-counting phase";

15 ▸ modifies provisions for determining a voter's intent on an instant runoff voting

16 ballot;

17 ▸ modifies provisions for determining when a vote is valid in an instant runoff race;

18 ▸ modifies and clarifies recount procedures and requirements;

19 ▸ permits a canvassing deadline extension, when necessary, to conduct a recount; and

20 ▸ makes technical and conforming changes.

21

**Money Appropriated in this Bill:**

22 None

23

**Other Special Clauses:**

24 None

25

**Utah Code Sections Affected:**

26 AMENDS:

27

**20A-4-101**, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2020, Chapter 31

28

**20A-4-102**, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2020, Chapters 31 and 49

29

**20A-4-304**, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2021, First Special Session, Chapter 15

30

**20A-4-601**, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2018, Chapter 187

31

**20A-4-603**, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2019, Chapter 305

32

**20A-4-604**, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2018, Chapter 187

33

34

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

35 Section 1. Section

**20A-4-101**is amended to read:

36

**20A-4-101.**

**Manual ballots cast at a polling place -- Counting manual ballots at**

37

**polling place on day of election before polls close.**

38 (1) Each county legislative body, municipal legislative body, and each poll worker

39 shall comply with the requirements of this section when counting manual ballots on the day of

40 an election, if:

41 (a) the ballots are cast at a polling place; and

42 (b) the ballots are counted at the polling place before the polls close.

43 (2) (a) Each county legislative body or municipal legislative body shall provide:

44 (i) two sets of ballot boxes for all voting precincts where both receiving and counting

45 judges have been appointed; and

46 (ii) a counting room for the use of the poll workers counting the ballots during the day.

47 (b) At any election in any voting precinct in which both receiving and counting judges

48 have been appointed, when at least 20 votes have been cast, the receiving judges shall:

49 (i) close the first ballot box and deliver it to the counting judges; and

50 (ii) prepare and use another ballot box to receive voted ballots.

51 (c) Except as provided in Subsection (2)(f), upon receipt of the ballot box, the counting

52 judges shall:

53 (i) take the ballot box to the counting room;

54 (ii) count the votes on the regular ballots in the ballot box;

55 (iii) place the provisional ballot envelopes in the envelope or container provided for

56 them for return to the election officer; and

57 (iv) when they have finished counting the votes in the ballot box, return the emptied

58 box to the receiving judges.

59 (d) (i) During the course of election day, whenever there are at least 20 ballots

60 contained in a ballot box, the receiving judges shall deliver that ballot box to the counting

61 judges for counting; and

62 (ii) the counting judges shall immediately count the regular ballots and segregate the

63 provisional ballots contained in that box.

64 (e) The counting judges shall continue to exchange the ballot boxes and count ballots

65 until the polls close.

66 (f) (i) The director of elections within the Office of the Lieutenant Governor shall make

67 rules in accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act,

68 describing the procedures that a counting judge is required to follow for counting ballots in an

69 instant runoff voting race under [

70 Methods Pilot Project.

71 (ii) When counting ballots in an instant runoff voting race described in [

72

73 comply with the procedures established under Subsection (2)(f)(i) and [

74 Part 6, Municipal Alternate Voting Methods Pilot Project.

75 (3) To resolve questions that arise during the counting of ballots, a counting judge shall

76 apply the standards and requirements of:

77 (a) to the extent applicable, Section 20A-4-105; and

78 (b) as applicable, for an instant runoff voting race under [

79 Municipal Alternate Voting Methods Pilot Project, [

__Subsections__

80

__20A-4-603(3) through (5)__.

81 Section 2. Section

**20A-4-102**is amended to read:

82

**20A-4-102.**

**Manual ballots cast at a polling place -- Counting manual ballots at**

83

**polling place on day of election after polls close.**

84 (1) (a) This section governs counting manual ballots on the day of an election, if:

85 (i) the ballots are cast at a polling place; and

86 (ii) the ballots are counted at the polling place after the polls close.

87 (b) Except as provided in Subsection (2) or a rule made under Subsection

88 20A-4-101(2)(f)(i), as soon as the polls have been closed and the last qualified voter has voted,

89 the election judges shall count the ballots by performing the tasks specified in this section in

90 the order that they are specified.

91 (c) To resolve questions that arise during the counting of ballots, a counting judge shall

92 apply the standards and requirements of:

93 (i) to the extent applicable, Section 20A-4-105; and

94 (ii) as applicable, for an instant runoff voting race under Part 6, Municipal Alternate

95 Voting Methods Pilot Project,[

__Subsections 20A-4-603(3) through__

96

__(5)__.

97 (2) (a) First, the election judges shall count the number of ballots in the ballot box.

98 (b) (i) If there are more ballots in the ballot box than there are names entered in the

99 pollbook, the judges shall examine the official endorsements on the ballots.

100 (ii) If, in the unanimous opinion of the judges, any of the ballots do not bear the proper

101 official endorsement, the judges shall put those ballots in an excess ballot file and not count

102 them.

103 (c) (i) If, after examining the official endorsements, there are still more ballots in the

104 ballot box than there are names entered in the pollbook, the judges shall place the remaining

105 ballots back in the ballot box.

106 (ii) One of the judges, without looking, shall draw a number of ballots equal to the

107 excess from the ballot box.

108 (iii) The judges shall put those excess ballots into the excess ballot envelope and not

109 count them.

110 (d) When the ballots in the ballot box equal the number of names entered in the

111 pollbook, the judges shall count the votes.

112 (3) The judges shall:

113 (a) place all unused ballots in the envelope or container provided for return to the

114 county clerk or city recorder; and

115 (b) seal that envelope or container.

116 (4) The judges shall:

117 (a) place all of the provisional ballot envelopes in the envelope provided for them for

118 return to the election officer; and

119 (b) seal that envelope or container.

120 (5) (a) In counting the votes, the election judges shall read and count each ballot

121 separately.

122 (b) In regular primary elections the judges shall:

123 (i) count the number of ballots cast for each party;

124 (ii) place the ballots cast for each party in separate piles; and

125 (iii) count all the ballots for one party before beginning to count the ballots cast for

126 other parties.

127 (6) (a) In all elections, the counting judges shall, except as provided in Part 6,

128 Municipal Alternate Voting Methods Pilot Project, or a rule made under Subsection

129 20A-4-101(2)(f)(i):

130 (i) count one vote for each candidate designated by the marks in the squares next to the

131 candidate's name;

132 (ii) count each vote for each write-in candidate who has qualified by filing a

133 declaration of candidacy under Section 20A-9-601;

134 (iii) read every name marked on the ballot and mark every name upon the tally sheets

135 before another ballot is counted;

136 (iv) evaluate each ballot and each vote based on the standards and requirements of

137 Section 20A-4-105;

138 (v) write the word "spoiled" on the back of each ballot that lacks the official

139 endorsement and deposit it in the spoiled ballot envelope; and

140 (vi) read, count, and record upon the tally sheets the votes that each candidate and

141 ballot proposition received from all ballots, except excess or spoiled ballots.

142 (b) Election judges need not tally write-in votes for fictitious persons, nonpersons, or

143 persons clearly not eligible to qualify for office.

144 (c) The judges shall certify to the accuracy and completeness of the tally list in the

145 space provided on the tally list.

146 (d) When the judges have counted all of the voted ballots, they shall record the results

147 on the total votes cast form.

148 (7) Only an election judge and a watcher may be present at the place where counting is

149 conducted until the count is completed.

150 Section 3. Section

**20A-4-304**is amended to read:

151

**20A-4-304.**

**Declaration of results -- Canvassers' report.**

152 (1) Each board of canvassers shall:

153 (a) except as provided in Part 6, Municipal Alternate Voting Methods Pilot Project,

154 declare "elected" or "nominated" those persons who:

155 (i) had the highest number of votes; and

156 (ii) sought election or nomination to an office completely within the board's

157 jurisdiction;

158 (b) declare:

159 (i) "approved" those ballot propositions that:

160 (A) had more "yes" votes than "no" votes; and

161 (B) were submitted only to the voters within the board's jurisdiction;

__or__

162 (ii) "rejected" those ballot propositions that:

163 (A) had more "no" votes than "yes" votes or an equal number of "no" votes and "yes"

164 votes; and

165 (B) were submitted only to the voters within the board's jurisdiction;

166 (c) certify the vote totals for persons and for and against ballot propositions that were

167 submitted to voters within and beyond the board's jurisdiction and transmit those vote totals to

168 the lieutenant governor; and

169 (d) if applicable, certify the results of each local district election to the local district

170 clerk.

171 (2) As soon as the result is declared, the election officer shall prepare a report of the

172 result, which shall contain:

173 (a) the total number of votes cast in the board's jurisdiction;

174 (b) the names of each candidate whose name appeared on the ballot;

175 (c) the title of each ballot proposition that appeared on the ballot;

176 (d) each office that appeared on the ballot;

177 (e) from each voting precinct:

178 (i) the number of votes for each candidate;

179 (ii) for each race conducted by instant runoff voting under Part 6, Municipal Alternate

180 Voting Methods Pilot Project, the number of valid votes cast for each candidate for each

181 potential ballot-counting phase and the name of the candidate excluded in each [

182

__ballot-counting__phase; and

183 (iii) the number of votes for and against each ballot proposition;

184 (f) the total number of votes given in the board's jurisdiction to each candidate, and for

185 and against each ballot proposition;

186 (g) the number of ballots that were rejected; and

187 (h) a statement certifying that the information contained in the report is accurate.

188 (3) The election officer and the board of canvassers shall:

189 (a) review the report to ensure that it is correct; and

190 (b) sign the report.

191 (4) The election officer shall:

192 (a) record or file the certified report in a book kept for that purpose;

193 (b) prepare and transmit a certificate of nomination or election under the officer's seal

194 to each nominated or elected candidate;

195 (c) publish a copy of the certified report in accordance with Subsection (5); and

196 (d) file a copy of the certified report with the lieutenant governor.

197 (5) Except as provided in Subsection (6), the election officer shall, no later than seven

198 days after the day on which the board of canvassers declares the election results, publicize the

199 certified report described in Subsection (2):

200 (a) (i) by publishing notice at least once in a newspaper of general circulation within

201 the jurisdiction;

202 (ii) by posting one notice, and at least one additional notice per 2,000 population of the

203 jurisdiction, in places within the jurisdiction that are most likely to give notice to the residents

204 of the jurisdiction, subject to a maximum of 10 notices; or

205 (iii) by mailing notice to each residence within the jurisdiction;

206 (b) by posting notice on the Utah Public Notice Website, created in Section

207 63A-16-601, for one week; and

208 (c) if the jurisdiction has a website, by posting notice on the jurisdiction's website for

209 one week.

210 (6) Instead of including a copy of the entire certified report, a notice required under

211 Subsection (5) may contain a statement that:

212 (a) includes the following: "The Board of Canvassers for [indicate name of

213 jurisdiction] has prepared a report of the election results for the [indicate type and date of

214 election]."; and

215 (b) specifies the following sources where an individual may view or obtain a copy of

216 the entire certified report:

217 (i) if the jurisdiction has a website, the jurisdiction's website;

218 (ii) the physical address for the jurisdiction; and

219 (iii) a mailing address and telephone number.

220 (7) When there has been a regular general or a statewide special election for statewide

221 officers, for officers that appear on the ballot in more than one county, or for a statewide or two

222 or more county ballot proposition, each board of canvassers shall:

223 (a) prepare a separate report detailing the number of votes for each candidate and the

224 number of votes for and against each ballot proposition; and

225 (b) transmit the separate report by registered mail to the lieutenant governor.

226 (8) In each county election, municipal election, school election, local district election,

227 and local special election, the election officer shall transmit the reports to the lieutenant

228 governor within 14 days after the date of the election.

229 (9) In a regular primary election and in a presidential primary election, the board shall

230 transmit to the lieutenant governor:

231 (a) the county totals for multi-county races, to be telephoned or faxed to the lieutenant

232 governor not later than the second Tuesday after the election; and

233 (b) a complete tabulation showing voting totals for all primary races, precinct by

234 precinct, to be mailed to the lieutenant governor on or before the third Friday following the

235 primary election.

236 Section 4. Section

**20A-4-601**is amended to read:

237

**20A-4-601.**

**Definitions.**

238 As used in this part:

239 (1) "Candidate amplifier" means the product of:

240 (a) two less than the total number of candidates in a given [

__ballot-counting__

241 phase of a multi-candidate race; and

242 (b) .02%.

243

__(2) "First preference ranking" means the candidate selected as the candidate most__

244

__preferred by a voter, as indicated by:__

245

__(a) the number one; or__

246

__(b) if the voter does not assign the number one to any candidate, the number two.__

247 [

__(3)__"Multi-candidate race" means a nonpartisan municipal race where:

248 (a) for the election of at-large officers, the number of candidates who qualify for the

249 race exceeds the total number of seats to be filled; or

250 (b) for the election of an officer other than an at-large officer, more than two

251 candidates qualify to run for one office.

252 [

__(4)__"Participating municipality" means a municipality that is participating in the

253 pilot project, in accordance with Subsection 20A-4-602(3).

254 [

__(5)__"Pilot project" means the Municipal Alternate Voting Methods Pilot Project

255 created in Section 20A-4-602.

256 [

__(6)__"Recount threshold" means the sum of the candidate amplifier and the

257 following:

258 (a) for a [

__ballot-counting__phase in which fewer than 100 valid [

259

__rankings__are counted, 0.21%;

260 (b) for a [

__ballot-counting__phase in which at least 100, but fewer than 500,

261 valid [

__rankings__are counted, 0.19%;

262 (c) for a [

__ballot-counting__phase in which at least 500, but fewer than 1,000,

263 valid [

__rankings__are counted, 0.17%;

264 (d) for a [

__ballot-counting__phase in which at least 1,000, but fewer than

265 5,000, valid [

__rankings__are counted, 0.15%;

266 (e) for a [

__ballot-counting__phase in which at least 5,000, but fewer than

267 10,000, valid [

__rankings__are counted, 0.13%; and

268 (f) for a [

__ballot-counting__phase in which 10,000 or more valid [

269

__rankings__are counted, 0.11%.

270 [

__(7)__"Valid" means that the ballot is marked in a manner that permits the [

271

__ranking__to be counted during the applicable ballot-counting phase.

272 Section 5. Section

**20A-4-603**is amended to read:

273

**20A-4-603.**

**Instant runoff voting.**

274 (1) In a multi-candidate race, the election officer for a participating municipality shall:

275 (a) (i) conduct the first ballot-counting phase by counting the valid first preference

276 [

__rankings__for each candidate; and

277 (ii) if[

278 50% of the valid first preference [

__rankings__counted, declare that candidate elected;

279 (b) if, after counting the valid first preference [

__rankings__for each candidate, [

280

281 preference [

__rankings__counted, conduct the second ballot-counting phase by:

282 (i) excluding from the multi-candidate race:

283 (A) the candidate who received the fewest valid first preference [

__rankings__

284 counted; or

285 (B) in the event of a tie for the fewest valid first preference [

__rankings__counted,

286 one of the tied candidates, determined by the [

287 Subsection (6);

288 (ii) adding, to the valid first preference [

__rankings__counted for the remaining

289 candidates, the

__next__valid [

__rankings__cast for the remaining

290 candidates by the voters who cast a valid first preference [

__ranking__for the excluded

291 candidate; and

292 (iii) if, after adding the [

__rankings__in accordance with Subsection (1)(b)(ii) [

293

294

__rankings__counted, declaring that candidate elected; and

295 (c) if, after adding the

__next__valid [

__rankings__in accordance

296 with Subsection (1)(b)(ii) [

297 than 50% of the valid [

__rankings__counted, conduct subsequent ballot-counting phases by

298 continuing the process described in Subsection (1)(b) until a candidate receives more than 50%

299 of the valid [

__rankings__counted, as follows:

300 (i) [

301 who has the fewest valid [

__rankings__counted or, in the event of a tie for the fewest valid

302 [

__rankings__counted, excluding one of the tied candidates, by lot, in accordance with

303 Subsection (6); and

304 (ii) adding the next valid preference [

__ranking__cast by each voter whose [

305

__ranking__was counted for the last excluded candidate to one of the remaining candidates, in the

306 order of the next preference indicated by the voter.

307 (2) The election officer shall declare elected the first candidate who receives more than

308 50% of the valid [

__rankings__counted under the process described in Subsection (1).

309 (3) [

__ranking__is valid for a particular

__ballot-counting__phase of a

310 multi-candidate race [

__:__

311

__(a)__the voter indicates the voter's preference for that

__ballot-counting__phase and all

312 previous

__ballot-counting__phases[

__; or__

313

__(b) in the event that the voter skips a number in filling out the rankings on a ballot:__

314

__(i) the voter clearly indicates an order of preference for the candidates;__

315

__(ii) the voter does not skip two or more consecutive numbers at any point before the__

316

__preference ranking that would otherwise be counted for the current ballot-counting phase;__

317

__(iii) the candidate next preferred by the voter is clearly indicated by a subsequent__

318

__number that most closely follows the number assigned by the voter for the previously-ranked__

319

__candidate; and__

320

__(iv) the voter did not give the same rank to more than one candidate for the applicable__

321

__ballot-counting phase or a previous ballot-counting phase.__

322 [

__(4)__A [

__ranking__is not valid for a particular

__ballot-counting__phase of a

323 multi-candidate race, and for all subsequent

__ballot-counting__phases, if

__:__

324

__(a)__the voter indicates the same rank for more than one candidate for that

325

__ballot-counting__phase[

__; or__

326 [

327

328

329

330

331 [

332

333 [

334

335

336

337

338

339 [

340

341 [

342

__(b) the voter skips two or more consecutive numbers before ranking another candidate.__

343

__(5) If, for a ballot-counting phase, a voter ranks a candidate who has withdrawn from__

344

__the race, the next-ranked candidate who has not withdrawn from the race will be counted for__

345

__that ballot-counting phase.__

346 (6) For each ballot-counting phase after the first phase, if[

347

348

__rankings__counted at that point in the ballot count, the election officer shall eliminate one of

349 those candidates from consideration, by lot, in the following manner:

350 (a) determine the names of the candidates who tie as having received the fewest valid

351 [

__rankings__for that ballot-counting phase;

352 (b) cast the lot in the presence of at least two election officials and any counting poll

353 watchers who are present and desire to witness the casting of the lot; and

354 (c) sign a public document that:

355 (i) certifies the method used for casting the lot and the result of the lot; and

356 (ii) includes the name of each individual who witnessed the casting of the lot.

357 (7) In a multi-candidate race for an at-large office, where the number of candidates

358 who qualify for the race exceeds the total number of at-large seats to be filled for the office, the

359 election officer shall count the [

__rankings__by:

360 (a) except as provided in Subsection (8), counting [

__rankings__in the same manner

361 as described in Subsections (1) through (6), until a candidate is declared elected;

362 (b) repeating the process described in Subsection (7)(a) for all candidates that are not

363 declared elected until another candidate is declared elected; and

364 (c) continuing the process described in Subsection (7)(b) until all at-large seats in the

365 race are filled.

366 (8) After a candidate is declared elected under Subsection (7), the election officer shall,

367 in repeating the process described in Subsections (1) through (6) to declare the next candidate

368 elected, add to the [

__ranking__totals the next valid preference vote of each voter whose

369 [

__ranking__was counted for a candidate already declared elected.

370 (9) An election officer for a participating municipality may choose to conduct a

371 primary election by using instant runoff voting in the manner described in Subsections (1)

372 through (6), except that:

373 (a) instead of determining whether a candidate receives more than 50% of the valid

374 preference [

__rankings__for a particular ballot-counting phase, the election officer shall

375 proceed to a subsequent ballot-counting stage, and exclude the candidate who receives the

376 fewest valid preference [

__rankings__in that phase, until twice the number of seats to be

377 filled in the race remain; and

378 (b) after complying with Subsection (9)(a), the election officer shall declare the

379 remaining candidates nominated to participate in the municipal general election.

380

__(10) After completing all ballot-counting phases in a multi-candidate race, the election__

381

__officer shall order a full recount of the ballots cast for that race if, in one or more of the__

382

__ballot-counting phases:__

383

__(a) the difference between the number of rankings counted for a candidate who is__

384

__declared elected and the number of rankings counted for any other candidate in the same__

385

__ballot-counting phase is equal to or less than the product of the following, rounded up to the__

386

__nearest whole number:__

387

__(i) the total number of voters who cast a valid ranking counted in that ballot-counting__

388

__phase; and__

389

__(ii) the recount threshold; or__

390

__(b) the difference between the number of rankings counted for the candidate who__

391

__received the fewest valid rankings in a ballot-counting phase and the number of rankings__

392

__counted for any other candidate in the same ballot-counting phase is equal to or less than the__

393

__product of the following, rounded up to the nearest whole number:__

394

__(i) the total number of voters who cast a valid ranking counted in that ballot-counting__

395

__phase; and__

396

__(ii) the recount threshold.__

397

__(11) A recount described in Subsection (10):__

398

__(a) requires rescanning and tabulating all valid ballots; and__

399

__(b) provides for only one recount.__

400

__(12) Notwithstanding Section 20A-4-301, a board of municipal canvassers may extend__

401

__the canvass deadline by up to seven additional days, if necessary, to conduct a recount required__

402

__under Subsection (10).__

403 Section 6. Section

**20A-4-604**is amended to read:

404

**20A-4-604.**

**Batch elimination.**

405 [

406 exclude candidates through batch elimination by, instead of excluding only one candidate in a

407 ballot-counting phase, excluding each candidate:

408 [

__(1)__for which the number of remaining candidates with more valid [

409

__rankings__than that candidate is greater than or equal to the number of offices to be filled; and

410 [

__(2) (a)__for which the number of valid [

__rankings__counted for the candidate

411 in the

__ballot-counting__phase plus the number of [

__rankings counted__for all

412 candidates with fewer valid [

__rankings__in the

__ballot-counting__phase is less than the

413 number of valid [

__rankings__for the candidate with the next highest amount of valid

414 [

__rankings__in the

__ballot-counting__phase; or

415 [

__(b)__who has fewer valid [

__rankings__in the

__ballot-counting__phase than a

416 candidate who is excluded under Subsection [

__(2)(a)__.

417 [

418