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It's Your Business

Hits & Misses: Public voter rolls, transparency and congressional candidates.


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Voter Rolls
Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox knows how to play both ends against the middle, and Utah voters should be grateful. Cox responded to the heavy-handed Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity by agreeing to send the state's public voter rolls, but without Social Security and driver's license numbers, according to both daily Utah newspapers. This is all about the specious claim that voter fraud is rampant nationwide, and (like it matters) that Donald Trump won the popular vote. Fox13 reported in 2014 that the now-useless posted all the info obtained via the voter rolls—a public record anyone could buy for about $1,050. Wisconsin's election official offered the commission its voter rolls for the $12,500 fee, The Washington Post reported. But even that is devoid of personal information. The concern is that the feds are gathering a list of who people voted for, and the objective is voter suppression. How much will it cost them in Utah, and how much will it cost voters if the feds succeed?


Your Business, Too
Speaking of the public, you might want to find out what's going on behind your back. The Salt Lake Tribune rated cities for transparency, and the upshot: If you want to know what your elected officials are doing, live in Murray and not in Draper. The Trib even editorialized that you, as a resident and taxpayer, should be particularly interested. Maybe you should tell your so-called representatives that what they're doing is indeed your business. Draper, for instance, closed part of its council meetings 73 percent of the time. Really? There's that much to discuss about personnel or real estate? Some commenters called it a church or Republican phenomenon, but it's really a function of power. The public needs to take it back.


Chaffetz Replacement
Everybody knows little Jason Chaffetz, but what about the people who want his congressional seat? It's close to a foregone conclusion that a Republican will win. That means right-winger and GOP Convention choice Chris Herrod, Provo Mayor John Curtis or the famous Tanner Ainge. Holly Richardson worries that Curtis and Ainge might split the ticket and give Herrod the win. Utah Policy says Ainge might win because of the almighty dollar. But pundits and polls have been wrong a lot lately. And the media is enamored of Ainge and his celebrity status. It's about his dad Danny and Jazz' Gordon Hayward—not the issues. The media needs to be careful not to tip the scales toward celebrity. As Drake University's law professor Anthony J. Gaughan notes, Donald Trump won by garnering "relentless media attention."