POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Utah’s lieutenant governor would lose election authority with new bill

Feb 7, 2024, 8:23 AM | Updated: 8:26 am

Voting signs at West Valley City Hall in West Valley on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023....

Voting signs at West Valley City Hall in West Valley on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023. (Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY– A Utah lawmaker has introduced a new bill taking authority and elections oversight from the lieutenant governor’s office.  A new state election’s office would assume that role. 

HB 490, sponsored by Rep. Ryan Wilcox, R-Ogden, would make the director of the new proposed state elections office “the chief election officer of the state,” the bill text reads.

If signed into law, the bill would create a council of seven state leaders who would select the director of this new office. That council includes the governor, the lieutenant governor, the state attorney general, the Utah Senate president, the Utah House speaker, the state auditor and the state treasurer.

 

However, that council would have little to no say in how the director runs the office. The bill currently says, “The director and the office are not under the supervision of, and do not take direction from, the governor, lieutenant governor, executive director, or any other person, except for direction given by the executive director for solely administrative purposes.”

The council’s choice for office director would also need senate confirmation.

This bill and has yet to be discussed or voted on by any committee or body of Utah lawmakers.

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Utah’s lieutenant governor would lose election authority with new bill