Did you hear the one about the hundreds of Utah County residents whose votes were rejected because they mailed them too late, forgot to sign them, sent in envelopes with no ballots or even tried casting votes for dead people? It’s no joke. All of that really happened, according to the state canvass of the special 3rd District Congressional election. That final official vote count occurred Monday, even though winning Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, was sworn into office two weeks ago. State Auditor John Dougall — who along with the state treasurer, attorney general and lieutenant governor form the Board of Canvassers — requested data about why any votes were rejected.
Officials reported Monday that errors invalidated 2,419 votes in the race, and 1,684 of them — or 70 percent — were in Utah County.
These so-called spoiled ballots included 974 by-mail ballots that were rejected for having postmarks that were too late.
Justin Lee, state elections director for Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, noted this was the first general election in which Utah County voted by mail — and many residents may not have realized that their ballots must be postmarked before Election Day. Otherwise, they must be dropped off at in-person voting centers.