CD2 SPECIAL ELECTION

Is Celeste Maloy a registered voter if she was marked ‘removable’?

Jun 29, 2023, 9:03 PM | Updated: Jul 1, 2023, 12:09 am

Celeste Maloy is the GOP convention nominee for the special election to replace Rep. Chris Stewart,...

Utah Congressional 2nd District candidate Celeste Maloy high-fives a supporter after securing the nomination during the Utah Republican Party’s special election at Delta High School in Delta on June 24, 2023. (Ryan Sun/Deseret News)

(Ryan Sun/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Is Celeste Maloy a registered voter even though voter records show she was on the removable list of Utah’s voter rolls when she filed to run for office?

That’s the center of debate ahead of her name being submitted as the party’s convention nominee in the race to replace her boss and current Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, in the special election for the 2nd Congressional District. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by KSL NewsRadio (@ksl_newsradio)

 So what’s the answer?

You don’t have to be a registered voter to qualify for the office Maloy is running for.

“There is no requirement for a congressional candidate to be a registered voter,” said Utah Lieutenant Governor Deidre Henderson in a tweet this week.

However, to gain access to the ballot per state law, you can’t file a declaration of candidacy for a registered political party of which you’re not a member.

And so, to have GOP Party membership, you have to “register to vote as a Republican.”

Therefore, simply put, you have to be a registered Republican to run through the convention path.

The fact that Maloy was on the removable list could have some people believing that she’s not a registered Republican and that makes her ineligible by the party for the ballot. 

Maloy was placed on the removable list after being made inactive for moving to Virginia in 2019. She was then subject to being removed as a Utah voter altogether when she didn’t vote in two consecutive elections.

She was made removable on January 3, 2023 but remained on the voter rolls when she updates her registration again on June 15, 2023 to her sister’s house in Iron County.

The arguments about whether Celeste Maloy is a registered voter

Those who would say she is registered argue that you’re registered because you still exist in Utah’s voter rolls.

County clerks can find your voter file, as evidenced in the Maloy case when she went to update her voter record on June 15, 2023, in Iron County. The clerk found her voter history dating back to 2000 and records show it was the same voter ID number.

But those who might argue otherwise, say if you’re on the removable list in Utah, you have to re-register.

That’s because state law requires clerks to prepare an “eligible register” of voters before each election. This register is every voter entitled to participate in the election. You don’t get on that list if you’re in the removable group.

But just because you’re not on the list to vote doesn’t mean you can’t. You’d just do it provisionally, filling out that ballot that also acts as a registration form.

The argument is, simply being on the voter rolls doesn’t make you registered.  Just because the Iron County clerk had Maloy’s information doesn’t mean she made this eligible voter list. 

If this is the case, when Maloy had to update her registration on June 15, three days after she filed, she was “re-registering.” If she had been already registered, then the Lt. Gov.’s office wouldn’t have needed her to do anything.

The Lt. Gov. did not respond to request for comment for this story.

But Maloy’s voter file existed in the state’s voter rolls, so the flip side would be that she wasn’t re-registering, she was updating her activity status by changing her address to her sister’s house in Iron County.

The need to vote provisionally

There’s also the argument that if you aren’t registered you can’t vote. A provisional ballot does act as a registration form, but that doesn’t mean you are registering by filing one out.

A voter can fill out a registration form just to change their party. It doesn’t mean they’re not a registered voter.

At the same time, a provisional ballot is used to register someone who isn’t registered.

Several reasons exist in state law for a voter to use a provisional ballot to take action while still being registered.

Those include moving counties, not having a valid state ID, your address on file needing to be updated, if you were trying to vote in a different county than you’re registered in, or if you’re a same-day voter.

In these cases, on Election Day you would cast a vote provisionally while your registration status is updated. The voter record still exists, and in these cases, the state would be updating an existing registration. 

The fact that you can’t vote on a regular ballot is what some believe is evidence that you’re not a registered voter.  

Evidence Maloy a registered voter

State law state identifies when “a voter is to be removed.” And that very language state law uses would seem to signal that she is, indeed registered. 

If Maloy isn’t a voter, how can she be a voter to be removed? And just because you can be removed doesn’t mean you are.

State law also defines a voter. A voter is an individual who “meets the requirements of voting in an election…of registration…is registered to vote…and is listed in the official register book.”

The “register book” is the voter rolls. Maloy was listed in Utah’s voter rolls. 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

CD2 Special Election

Generic image of signature counting. The man hired by Bruce Hough's campaign to gather signatures f...

Jessica Lowell

Utah AG charges Bruce Hough campaigner with incorrectly paying for signatures

The AG's office alleges that Bruce Hough campaigner, Timothy Mooney, paid signature gatherers for the gross amount of signatures.

4 months ago

Celeste Maloy talks with Gov. Spencer Cox at an election night party at the Utah Trucking Associati...

Simone Seikaly

Congratulations for Maloy from Republicans and Democrats

Celeste Maloy has won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, and is only the fifth woman in Utah history to do so.

5 months ago

Republican nominee Celeste Maloy wins Utah's 2nd Congressional District....

MEAD GRUVER Associated Press

Republican Celeste Maloy wins Utah special election to replace her former boss US Rep. Chris Stewart

Maloy beat state Sen. Kathleen Riebe, who as minority whip is the Utah Senate's second-ranking Democrat.

5 months ago

Jona Curry drops off her ballot during Utah's municipal and primary election. Mail-in ballots have ...

Kristine Weller

Mail-in ballots are here ahead of special election on Nov. 21

Mail-in ballots were sent out later for the special election to fill former Rep. Chris Stewart's seat in Utah's 2nd Congressional District.

6 months ago

FILE - Protestors loyal to then-President Donald Trump rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on J...

Lindsay Aerts

Candidate in Utah 2nd district election funded flights to Jan. 6th rally

Brad Greene running as a Libertarian for the Utah 2nd Congressional District said he wanted to support government accountability.

6 months ago

Congressman Chris Stewart named chairman of the Utah Aerospace and Defense Association...

Sam Herrera

Rep. Chris Stewart’s final farewell to Congress

His resignation takes effect on Friday, ending a decade of serving in the U.S. House.

7 months ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

Is Celeste Maloy a registered voter if she was marked ‘removable’?