Unless an organization is registered as a political party, it may not place the names of candidates representing that organization on the primary or regular general election ballot under the organization's name. In order to become a registered political party, an organization must follow the procedures listed below:
Circulate a petition seeking registered political party status. The petition must be signed by 2,000 registered voters in the State of Utah. The organization may not begin circulating the petition until after the statewide canvass of the regular general election and must finish before November 30, 2017 in order to participate in the 2018 election cycle. For example, if an organization is seeking party status for the 2018 general election, it may not begin circulating its petition until November 28, 2016, the date of the canvass for the 2016 general election.
In addition to the signatures, the organization must submit the following:
- the prospective party's name and emblem, and
- the process that the organization will follow to organize and adopt a constitution and bylaws.
The information must be signed by a filing officer who agrees to receive communications on behalf of the organization. The party name must not exceed four words and the emblem must be distinguishable from the emblems of other registered political parties. If the lieutenant governor finds that the name, emblem, or both are not distinguishable from those of other registered political parties, he or she will notify the filing officer that he has seven days to submit a new name or emblem to the lieutenant governor. A registered political party may not change its name or emblem during the regular general election year. The organization is required to describe the process it will follow to adopt a constitution and bylaws should it become a registered party.
The petition signatures must be certified by the Lt. Governor's Office and all required information must be received in the Lt. Governor's Office by November 30, 2017. Holographic (physical) signatures are required. Electronics signatures of any kind are not permitted.
On or before March 1, 2018, the prospective political party must file the names of the party officers or governing board with the Lt. Governor's Office. After reveiwing the information and determining that all proper procedures have been completed, the Lt. Governor's Office will issue a certificate naming the organization as a registered political party in Utah and inform each county clerk that the organization is a registered political party.
Maintaining Registered Political Party Status
In order to maintain its status as a registered political party, an organization must participate in the general election and one or more of its candidates must receive a total vote equal to at least 2% of the total votes cast for all candidates for the U. S. House of Representatives. If a party fails to maintain its status, it must follow the procedures for registering as a new political party in order to appear on the ballot in the following regular general election.
Submitting Information to the Lt. Governor's Office
- Each registered political party must designate a party officer to act as a liaison with the Lt. Governor's Office.
- Within seven days of changing a party liaison, the name of the new liaison must be submitted to the office.
- Each state and county political party must submit the names, phone number and address of its officers to the Lt. Governor's Office within seven days of selecting or changing the party officers.
- If a political party amends its constitution and bylaws, revised copies must be submitted to the Lt. Governor's Office within 15 days of the amendment.