POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

State elections leaders dismiss state lawmakers claims of vote switching

Jun 27, 2022, 7:00 PM | Updated: Jun 28, 2022, 10:54 am

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A voter fills in the ballot on the voting machine during the Election Day voting at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. Photo credit: Yukai Peng, Deseret News.

WASATCH COUNTY, Utah — The State Elections Office says all of the state’s voting machines are working correctly ahead of Primary Election Day Tuesday. This comes after Rep. Phil Lyman, R-Blanding, made claims on social media, that some of the machines were changing people’s votes.

Screenshot of Lyman’s social media post.

Lyman posted on Facebook and Telegram claiming he had “several reports from people claiming their in person vote for Senator Mike Lee was changed to Becky Edwards.”

He told KSL he had three reports from people in Wasatch County that came to him unsolicited. And that he knew of vote switching that happened in Davis County.

Lyman has been vocal about election fraud claims, he proposed getting rid of universal mail-in balloting this last legislative session.

“Obviously, the concern was that maybe there was a malfunction, maybe there’s something going on,” Lyman said of the reason for his post. “That was [the purpose of] my post, to find out if anyone else was having this issue.”

Utah LG responds

Utah’s Lieutenant Governor, Deirdre Henderson, who oversees elections in the state took to Twitter to say her office has investigated and found there wasn’t vote switching – but rather an issue with the font size.

She, and state Director of Elections Ryan Cowley who spoke with KSL, said the issue was that the font size of some ballot-marking machines used by people in Wasatch County was too small. According to Cowley, some people were having a hard time clicking the boxes of their preferred candidate.

“The machines [were] tested before they were put out,” said Cowley. “And what the [Wasatch County Clerk’s office] were trying to do is put all the races on one screen so that voters didn’t have to scroll through multiple screens.”

Cowley said only eight people used that ballot marking machine in Wasatch County.

“But all of the voters, they’re given three opportunities to verify their selection, before their vote is cast,” he said.

Cowley said that the voters reported that their votes were ultimately recorded correctly.

But he worries that the issues were never raised to poll workers at the time people were voting. His office only learned about the problems via those social media posts.

“So did [the voters] experience some troubles? Yes obviously it sounds like they did,” Cowley said. “But in the end, they got to vote the way they wanted to vote.”

In Davis County, Cowley said their machines have been tested “and are working properly.”

KSL could not reach the Davis County Clerk for an explanation of what happened there.

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State elections leaders dismiss state lawmakers claims of vote switching