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Find KUER's reporting on the races, candidates and more for Utah’s 2018 midterm elections. Click here for our graphics of the U.S. Senate race, 4 Congressional races and Utah ballot initiatives.

Utah US District Attorney Taps Elections Officer To Field Concerns About Discrimination, Voter Fraud

Photo of voting sign.
Julia Ritchey / KUER

U.S. District Attorney for Utah John Huber is appointing an election day officer to field complaints from anyone worried about voter fraud, discrimination or intimidation at the polls.

Although elections are largely a county and state-run operation, Huber says he appoints an election officer whenever there are federal races on the ballot.

“I will have an assistant United States attorney literally sitting by his phone all day, up through of the close of the polls and one hour after that, to take calls from concerned citizens,” he said.

Huber says Utah hasn’t had any serious election problems in the past — most calls they field tend to be about technical issues, including long lines at the poll. Those are referred to the state.

“It’s a very quiet day typically for an elections officer,” he said.

President Donald Trump has used voter fraud as a political wedge after making unsubstantiated claims that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election.

Huber said he’s never prosecuted a case of voter fraud in Utah and couldn’t predict if more people would be on higher alert because of the president’s claims.

“That’s hard to predict, but we’ll take every call that comes in,” he said. “Election fraud and voting rights abuses dilute the worth of votes honestly cast. So we take these duties seriously.”

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division enforces federal statutes that protect the right to vote. That includes prohibiting intimidation of voters, providing accessible voting machines for those with disabilities and providing provisional ballots for voters who are not on the rolls but are eligible to vote.

Huber said anyone with a concern on election day can call Assistant U.S. Attorney Lake Dishman, the election officer this year, at 801-325-1409.

 

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