The Utah Republican State Executive Committee has voted to schedule the party's presidential primary for June 26, 2012. That fourth Tuesday in June date is the date on which the state has traditionally held its primaries for state and local offices. According to Bob Bernick at UtahPolicy.com, the state party had a decision to make between holding caucus meetings during the parties' mass meetings to start the state convention delegate selection process in March or moving the primary back to June to coincide with the other primaries in the state. The State Executive Committee opted for the latter. Concerns over keeping the contest closed to registered Republican voters were paramount in the committee's decision:
[Utah Republican Party Chairman Thomas] Wright said since Republicans hold closed primaries, with only registered party members voting, it would be a technical nightmare in the caucus meetings to try to determine who was legally a GOP registered voter – and thus able to cast a ballot in the presidential race.
Recall that what set this move to June in motion was the state legislature's decision during its January-March session not to fund the scheduled February 2012 presidential primary in the Beehive state. That shifted the decision to the state parties. Utah Democrats have already chosen to begin the delegate selection process with March 13 caucus meetings -- the former option mentioned above. Then again, Utah Democrats did not have much of a choice. The party could have opted for the mid-March caucuses or caucuses on some other date. The June primary would have been too late according to the Democratic National Committee's 2012 Delegate Selection Rules. Those rules mandate that non-exempt primaries and caucuses be scheduled between the first Tuesday in March and the second Tuesday in June (Rule 11.A). The RNC rules have a similar mandate on the front end of the calendar, but not on the back end. In other words, the late June presidential primary in Utah is compliant with the RNC rules but not with DNC rules.
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