Last week Summit and Wasatch Counties Clerks certified their results for the 2020 election and both counties reached record voter turnout.
Between the COVID-19 pandemic and a highly contested presidential race, this year’s election was anything but ordinary.
Despite all the obstacles the pandemic presented, Summit County Clerk Kent Jones said the county had record voter turnout.
“I've never seen it this high before,” Jones said. “It's been a unique election right from beginning to end.”
He said not only did the county have over 92% voter turnout, but the vast majority of people voted through mail. Jones sid only about 800 of the nearly 26,500 ballots were cast during the drive-through voting.
And in Wasatch County, Clerk Cal Griffiths said they also had a record breaking amount of votes cast.
“In 2016, we had 15,000 active voters and we had 75% turnout at the last general election,” Griffiths said. “This year, we went from 15,000 up to a little over 20,000 active voters in Wasatch county, and we ended up with an 89% turnout.”
Despite allegations from President Donald Trump of widespread voter fraud, both Summit and Wasatch Counties clerks said they felt the election in their counties were secure.
Jones said there’s misinformation about the vote counting process.
“You know, as somebody that's administered elections for several years, I just smile and think to myself, I know exactly what we do,” Jones said. “I know our process.”
When voters cast their ballots in-person, they have to show a legal form of ID. But mail-in votes do not, creating criticism over the security of these types of ballots.
Jones said mail-in ballots are safe because they can verify signatures, not only through valid IDs, but also through other means.
“Even if someone - say for instance - has gotten older, or over time, their signature may have changed, or they had some kind of a health issue that their signatures changed a little,” he said. “We have the ability to capture, like five signatures that could either be through past elections that could be through driver's license renewal. And our staff goes through all of the signature tabs after the election throughout the rest of the year, and goes back and update signatures. So we have current signatures on file.”
And Wasatch’s Clerk said if the signatures don’t match, the clerk’s office sends a letter to give voters a chance to cure their ballots.
“So I feel very comfortable with the state of Uta,” Griffiths said. “I think the state of Utah along with six other states received an A rating for how they handled mail-in balloting.”