Gov. Herbert talks traditional primary after issues at Utah caucuses

Posted at 7:19 PM, Mar 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-24 21:19:09-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Huge turnout at the Utah caucuses Tuesday prompted issues like a lack of ballots, long lines and computer issues, and this week Gov. Gary Herbert discussed the possibility of the state moving to a traditional primary process.

It’s estimated nearly 80,000 Democrats and more than 200,000 Republicans caucused in Utah Tuesday, and the high turnout created some complications. 

Thursday, Gov. Gary Herbert addressed some of those issues, saying he had pushed for a traditional primary rather than a caucus.

“I had put in my budget, by the way, 3 million dollars so we could have a presidential primary, a traditional presidential primary,” Herbert said. “The parties didn’t want to do that, and so it didn’t happen, but I think it’s worthwhile going forward to have a discussion in the future.”

Herbert said another issue is holding the primary earlier in the election process to give Utah’s results more meaning.

“I think what we’ve learned is the people want to vote in a presidential primary, but they want to vote when it has meaning,” Herbert said. “And so moving the timeline up early like we had two days ago, where we actually had five of our candidates had some kind of presence–four of them actually showed up, one sent their daughter–but still, we had a voice in the outcome of the presidential politics, so I think people are excited about that.”

Herbert said while he was pleased with the high turnout, he thinks things would have gone more smoothly using a different format.

“It would have been probably even better if we’d had a regular day set aside for a presidential primary,” he said.