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Garrott Accuses Becker Campaign of Violating Election Laws

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Whittney Evans
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Salt Lake City Councilman Luke Garrott has filed a complaint against Mayor Ralph Becker’s reelection team for allegedly violating election laws. Becker’s camp denies the accusations.

Garrott is accusing Becker’s campaign staffers of collecting voted ballots for delivery. In July the campaign held a rooftop party with the mayor in which supporters brought their mail-in ballots with them to the party to be submitted. The campaign also posted a tweet on Election Day offering to pick up ballots for voters if they missed the postmark deadline. Garrott, who ran for Salt Lake City Mayor but lost to Ralph Becker and Jackie Biskupski in Tuesday’s Primary Election said in a statement it’s a violation of state law for campaign staffers to handle ballots.

Matt Lyon, Becker’s campaign manager says the campaign had planned to collect ballots from voters but were told by Salt Lake County elections officials that it may be against the law so they decided not to.

“When we got a phone call that said you can’t do that, we called everyone who asked us to do that and said we can’t pick it up,” Lyon says. “You need to go drop it off yourself and the campaign staff did not handle or manage any ballots.”

Lyon says the goal was to increase voter participation.

Salt Lake City Recorder Cindi Mansell says she’s referred the complaint to legal experts to determine if it’s actually against the law. 

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