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Utah Legislature found no evidence of fraud after election audit

Vote by mail ballot materials
Darylann Elmi

Some officials in the Summit County Republican Party claimed mail-in ballots during the midterm elections would not result in a free and fair election. Now an audit of the Lieutenant Governor’s office found no signs of systematic problems.

Utah has conducted mail-in voting for more than a decade and this year’s midterm elections were no different. What was different this year were questions from some officials about the integrity of the voting process.

Last December, Utah’s legislative leaders ordered an audit of the 2022 election. That deep dive into the election process and Lieutenant Governor Deidre Henderson’s office found no evidence of fraud, widespread errors or systematic problems during this year’s midterm elections.

Furthermore, auditors found that security systems already in place would foil any attempts to tamper with ballots.

Henderson said in a statement that the systems in place are the result of careful and deliberate efforts by the Legislature over many years to ensure that Utah voters have access to ballots, confidence in the security of elections and the ability to hold those who run elections accountable for their performance.

However, independent investigators pointed out several areas that need improvement, such as updating voter registration rolls and standardizing signature verification.

Summit County Clerk Eve Furse said she’s very pleased that the legislative audit found that Utah’s elections safeguards are in place and working.

Summit County Republican Party Chair Karen Ballash was vocal about election integrity during the midterms. In September, she emailed her party members claiming that mail-in ballots and machines wouldn’t result in a free and fair process. Ballash did not respond to KPCW’s request for comment.

Tim Gallagher is a Summit County Republican Party precinct captain. He said it’s not surprising that the Legislature found no fraud. He said he has complete faith in the election process.