Clerk details voter safety measures protecting your mail-in ballot from fraud

Oct 25, 2021, 4:46 PM | Updated: 5:25 pm
vote voter fraud mail-in ballot...
People can still vote in-person today but voters need to make sure they have the correct identification. Photo by Samuel Corum, Getty Images

SALT LAKE CITY — Pushed by former President Donald Trump and his followers, the Big Lie is the false claim that the 2020 US presidential election was stolen through massive electoral and voter fraud. One of Utah’s top elections official outlines how difficult — if not impossible — perpetuating voter fraud in the state would be.

Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swenson joined Dave and Dujanovic on KSL NewsRadio to talk about the safety measures built-in. 

Swenson said the county implemented vote-by-mail in 2015; it is now statewide.

“For every registered voter who submits an online form, we require a driver’s license number or the last four digits of their Social Security number,” Swenson said.

Signature verification protects mail-in ballots from voter fraud

Once clerks verify voter information through the state database, they send the voter a voter-identification card. Each ballot has a unique number that is correlated to the voter’s record. When a voter returns a ballot, they must do so in the ballot envelope provided. A voter also needs to sign the provided return envelope — all to prevent fraud.

Then, according to vote.utah.gov:

County election officials compare the signature on your ballot envelope with the signature on your previous ballots and your voter-registration form. If your signature does not match, your county clerk will notify you. You will be given an opportunity to submit an affidavit called a “cure letter” that allows you to affirm that your signature is correct. Once your county election official receives your affidavit, the ballot will be counted.


Graphic: vote.utah.gov

One ballot, one voter

Every ballot is connected to a registered voter.

“So the idea that somebody could insert ballots into our system and that they could be sent from China or from someone else, just can’t happen,” Swenson said.

“What about the rest of the country?” Dave asked.

“You know I can’t speak for all of them, but I would bet that they all have similar systems,” Swenson replied.

The idea that a foreign state or actor is inserting ballots into the voting system is rhetoric that plays well to an audience that doesn’t understand the various layers of security in the system.

“The procedures we have in place are very secure,” Swenson said, “but a lot of people don’t understand that we have this connection to that database, and a unique ID ballot number and a signature attached for every ballot we received.”

If you want to know the status of your ballot, visit vote.utah.gov.

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play. 

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Clerk details voter safety measures protecting your mail-in ballot from fraud