Utah

Articles about voting issues in Utah.

Utah: U.S. Supreme Court orders state of Utah to respond to GOP lawsuit challenging election law | The Salt Lake Tribune

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the state of Utah to respond to an appeal by the Utah Republican Party that seeks to overturn a law allowing candidates to qualify for the ballot by collecting signatures and/or by using the caucus-convention system. The party says the court’s request shows it is taking serious interest in the case and in the argument that the state should not be able to tell the private organization how to select its nominees. The state last month filed a waiver saying it did not plan to respond to the GOP’s petition asking the high court to hear the case unless requested to do so by justices. On Tuesday, the court did just that. Read More

Utah: Trailing in tight election, Republican Rep. Mia Love sues to stop vote count in Utah | USA Today

Republican U.S. Rep. Mia Love sued Wednesday to halt vote counting in the Utah race where she is trailing her Democratic challenger by a razor-thin margin, saying her campaign must be allowed to issue challenges if they dispute the validity of mail-in ballots. In a contest where “every single vote is crucial,” the Love campaign claimed poll-watchers have seen a few cases where voter signatures on ballots accepted by election workers did not appear to match those on file in Democratic-leaning Salt Lake County. County attorneys pushed back in court documents, arguing state law gives the campaign no right to interrupt the vote count, and letting the campaign question signatures could violate voters’ rights by revealing who they cast their ballots for. Democratic challenger Ben McAdams, meanwhile, said the lawsuit “smacks of desperation,” and elections officials, not candidates, should decide what votes should count. Read More

Utah: Rep. Mia Love sues to halt vote count in Salt Lake County | The Washington Post

Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah) is filing a lawsuit against the Salt Lake County Clerk in a bid to stop the counting of votes until her campaign is allowed to challenge whether signatures on ballot envelopes match those on file, a move that Love’s Democratic opponent said Wednesday “smacks of desperation.” As of Wednesday evening, Love was trailing Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams (D) by 873 votes, or 0.36 percentage point, in the race for Utah’s 4th Congressional District. That margin is narrower than the 6,700 votes by which McAdams was leading Nov. 8. Utah law allows candidates to request a recount when the margin of victory is 0.25 percentage point or less. In the lawsuit, news of which was first reported by the Salt Lake Tribune, Love’s campaign argues that the Salt Lake County clerk has allowed poll monitors to observe the ballot-counting process but has denied them the ability to challenge signatures on ballot envelopes. Voting by mail is popular in Utah. In the state’s primary elections earlier this year, 90 percent of ballots were cast by mail. Read More

Utah: Navajos could tip balance after voting-rights battle | Associated Press

Tammie Nakai lives under a vista of red-rock spires and purple sunrise sky that offers arguably some of the United States’ most breathtaking views. But her home lacks what most of the country considers basic necessities: electric lines and running water. “It’s been that way my whole life, almost 31 years,” she said at the jewelry stand she and her husband run with pride in Monument Valley, a rural community near the Utah-Arizona border where tourists stand in the highway to re-create a famous running scene from “Forest Gump.” As she decides how she’ll cast her ballot, Navajo voters like Nakai could tip the balance of power in their county on Nov. 6. It’s the first general election since a federal judge decided racially gerrymandered districts illegally minimized the voices of Navajo voters who make a slim majority of San Juan County’s population. The county overlaps with the Navajo Nation, where people face huge disparities in health, education and economics. About 40 percent lack running water in their homes. Read More

Utah: Voters find names no longer registered; state can’t explain why | KUTV

Registered voters say their names vanished from a state-run database. “We had gone online, to my surprise, to find out that I was not registered,” said 21-year-old voter Michael Peterson. Peterson says his mom asked the family to check their registration status online before the upcoming elections, and that’s when they found Michael’s name gone. It came as a shock because Peterson voted two years ago. His initial reaction was to feel like “it really feels unfair and it just doesn’t feel right, everyone should always be included,” Peterson said. In July, Peterson moved across town. He said he went to the DMV to get a new license and chose to keep his voter registration the same. “The information that we had in our database did not match the current address,” said Justin Lee, the Utah director of elections. Read More

Utah: Mitt Romney’s Senate run makes Utah’s election a target for Russian hackers, lieutenant governor says | The Salt Lake Tribune

Utah’s government systems face “hundreds of millions” of attacks each day from hackers in Russia, China and elsewhere, Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox said Tuesday. And those attacks are likely to intensify ahead of November’s election, Cox said, as a result of past criticisms of Russia by Mitt Romney, the state’s Republican nominee for U.S. Senate. “We knew that alone might make us more of a target,” Cox said of Romney’s candidacy. Cox, who oversees elections in Utah, was confident the state’s government websites and voting systems can withstand the attacks. Millions of dollars have gone into updating Utah’s voting machines and cybersecurity protocols, he said, and the transition to a statewide vote-by-mail process decreases the likelihood of fraudulent votes on a mass scale. “We have a paper trail for every vote that is cast in the state,” he said. Read More

Utah: Cox says Utah election system under fire, but safe from malefactors | Deseret News

Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox offered a positive message Tuesday speaking about election security issues — even amid unprecedented levels of hacking attempts, voters can cast their upcoming midterm ballot in confidence that it will be duly and fairly tallied. “We would encourage Utah voters to know that we’re on the front lines fighting this battle for you,” Cox said. “Know that this election is secure and you can be sure that your vote will count.” Cox, whose oversight of state elections is part of his duties as lieutenant governor, outlined the millions in new state funding and federal assistance that’s been dedicated to beefing up security measures for this election cycle, including the latest in voting machine technology, upgrades to the voter registration database protections and partnerships that have helped bolster the state’s digital resilience to those who would seek to infiltrate and disrupt the election process. Read More

Utah: A county clerk’s deceptive attempt to keep Grayeyes out of the San Juan commission race should lead to criminal charges | The Salt Lake Tribune

Sure, we’ve seen malfeasance in Utah politics — sex scandals, run-of-the-mill corruption, pay-to-play. But I can’t recall ever seeing a public servant conspiring so ruthlessly to deny a Utahn a fundamental constitutional right as we just saw in San Juan County. I’m referring to San Juan County Clerk John David Nielson, who helped falsify and backdate an election complaint and used it to disqualify Democrat Willie Grayeyes from the County Commission race, asserting Grayeyes was ineligible to run because he didn’t live in the county. On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge David Nuffer righted the wrong, ordering Grayeyes’ name be put back on the ballot, basing his decision, in part, on the clerk’s deceit.

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Utah: Navajo Nation files election complaint against San Juan County over primary races | KSTU

The Navajo Nation’s Human Rights Commission has filed an election complaint against San Juan County over incidents during the June 26 primary. County officials, in turn, have accused the Navajo Nation of “harassment.” It’s the latest salvo between the two sides in a contentious legal battle over elections in the Four Corners area. U.S. District Court Judge Robert Shelby has ordered a special election for county commission and school board seats after he found racial gerrymandering took place. The Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission said it had two poll watchers in Montezuma Creek and Monument Valley, monitoring interactions between voters and poll workers. Read More

Utah: Lt. Governor asks Utah Supreme Court to keep Count My Vote off the November ballot | KSTU

Utah’s Lt. Governor is defending the law that allows voters to remove signatures from a citizen referendum petition. In a new court filing before the Utah Supreme Court, Lt. Governor Spencer Cox pushed back on Count My Vote’s request to strike down a portion of election law dealing with signature removal. Count My Vote, which would allow political candidates to gather signatures and skip the caucus-convention system that political parties prefer, failed to qualify for the November ballot after enough voters removed their signatures following an opposition campaign by a rival group called Keep My Voice. Read More