Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Dig deep into Utah's local elections with KUER News. Check out KUER's voter information page for the how, when and where on voting in Utah, learn about the candidates in Utah's 6 major statewide races and follow this page for a steady stream of election coverage from KUER News. 00000174-456e-d547-ad77-67ef316e0000 Check out all of KUER's Statewide Election Profiles.

Utah Election Officials Reassure Voters Of Polling Integrity

Julia Ritchey/KUER
Mark Thomas, director of elections in Utah, pulls up the website where voters can check the status of their ballot. He says they work with Utah's 29 counties to ensure voting is as secure as it can be.

As Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump doubled-down on accusations that the elections would be rigged, Utah officials say that’s just not possible.

Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen is emphatic when asked if vote rigging or election fraud could take place this year.

“No,” she says. “Because we have so many people working on various aspects of the election.”

Swensen and her staff use a statewide database that prohibits voters from trying to cast more than one ballot.

“As soon as they go to a vote center, and are issued a ballot at a vote center, it will in real-time give that voter credit for voting," she says.

The same applies for vote-by-mail, which the majority of Utahns will use this year. For mail-in and absentee ballots, Swensen and her staff check every voter’s signature on their envelope against the signature on their voter registration card.  

About 200 poll workers will be on hand to assist at the 37 vote centers in the valley. Swensen says many of these trained volunteers are veterans of the process and come from a variety of backgrounds and party affiliations.  

“The election processes are decentralized throughout the United States,” she says. “There are 3,142 counties, and within those counties, like ours, you have literally hundreds and possibly thousands of workers processing ballots and working on elections. So it would take an unimaginable conspiracy to rig an election.”

Mark Thomas is the director of elections in the Lieutenant Governor’s office. He also stands by the integrity of the process.

“To have people question the election system and process is not new,” he says. “For a candidate to say, 'Hey, if I lose, it’s not me, it’s because of the system.’ That comes up every election, and I think for the most part, voters realize that and see through that.”

As for cyber attacks, he says Utah’s voting machines are secure and not connected to a network. They go through both pre-election testing and post-election auditing to ensure that they’re properly functioning.  

Thomas encourages voters to check the status of their ballot by going to

Julia joined KUER in 2016 after a year reporting at the NPR member station in Reno, Nev. During her stint, she covered battleground politics, school overcrowding, and any story that would take her to the crystal blue shores of Lake Tahoe. Her work earned her two regional Edward R. Murrow awards. Originally from the mountains of Western North Carolina, Julia graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2008 with a degree in journalism. She’s worked as both a print and radio reporter in several states and several countries — from the 2008 Beijing Olympics to Dakar, Senegal. Her curiosity about the American West led her to take a spontaneous, one-way road trip to the Great Basin, where she intends to continue preaching the gospel of community journalism, public radio and podcasting. In her spare time, you’ll find her hanging with her beagle Bodhi, taking pictures of her food and watching Patrick Swayze movies.
KUER is listener-supported public radio. Support this work by making a donation today.