Police help transport ballots in Salt Lake County due to security concerns

Nov 2, 2021, 6:23 PM | Updated: Dec 29, 2022, 12:03 pm

(One woman dropping off her ballot at the box at the Salt Lake County Government Center on November...

(One woman dropping off her ballot at the box at the Salt Lake County Government Center on November 2, 2021. Photo: Paul Nelson)

(One woman dropping off her ballot at the box at the Salt Lake County Government Center on November 2, 2021. Photo: Paul Nelson)

SALT LAKE CITY — An extra layer of security for election workers in Salt Lake County. Elections officials have asked the Unified Police Department to help transport ballots from drop-off locations to where they would be counted because of potential security issues.

Polling officials in Salt Lake County say it appears most people waited until the last day to put their ballots in drop boxes and polling centers. County Clerk Sherrie Swensen says the most ballots they had received on any day before Election Day was roughly 1,800. However, by Tuesday, they got another 17,000 before 2 p.m.

This year is no different than last year

One of those voters was South Salt Lake resident Lexie Miller.  She felt it was just as important to vote this year as in last year’s presidential race.

Miller said, “This year is absolutely no different than any other year.”

She plans on living in South Salt Lake for a long time, and she’s not happy with some of the things she’s seeing in her city.

“I see parks, and I love that, but, I would like to see more going toward [things like] the library.  We don’t have a library in South Salt Lake, anymore,” Miller said.

Police help transport ballots due to security risks

She has no doubts about how secure her ballot is, but thousands of other people do.  Swensen says she’s still getting emails and postcards asking for a complete forensic audit of the 2020 election results.  In some case, people are calling for information that’s no longer available.

One group, according to Swensen, asked to follow poll workers as they collected the ballots from drop boxes to deliver them to where they would be processed.  They reportedly asked for very specific information about who was transporting the ballots and which routes would be taken.

She said, “They wanted a schedule of when they’re being picked up.  I think that provides a bit of a security risk.  That’s kind of like saying, ‘When are the banks picking up the money?’”

Swensen says even if that group had no plans to intimidate or threaten poll workers, or even if the group had no intention of altering the ballots in any way, they still pose a possible security threat.  She says some of her workers were followed last year, which made them fear for their safety.

“They had been followed and photographed, so we have now employed the UPD officers,” Swensen said.

According to Swensen, people are still welcome to observe polling locations on Election Day.

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Police help transport ballots in Salt Lake County due to security concerns