Safe and secure voting promised ahead of Tuesday's elections

Posted at 5:53 PM, Nov 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-01 19:53:57-04

PROVO, Utah — Hundreds of thousands of Utah voters are expected to cast ballots in Tuesday’s municipal election as state and local officials insist the process will be safe and secure.

FIND IT HERE: Where's the closest Utah election ballot drop box to you?

In Utah County, the election office relies on sophisticated technology to protect the ballots and to track where they were submitted.

“The ballots never leave this room,” said Utah County Elections Director Rozan Mitchell.

Every ballot is loaded into a fast-paced machine at least twice, which scans individualized barcodes.

“It captures an image, a full-on image of the envelope,” Mitchell said.

The machine also makes a digital record of the signature.

“We check the signature on every single envelope. Some people say, ‘Oh you don’t do that or you just take a sampling.’ Nope, we look at signatures and check signatures on every single envelope to make sure it matches what we have on record,” said Mitchell.

Out of 462 individual races in Utah, not a single outcome was challenged last year. Yet, unfounded conspiracy theories asserting election fraud concern the state election’s office.

“Sure, we’ve been getting calls,” said Utah Deputy Director of Elections Shelly Jackson.

Jackson says safeguards are in place to prevent someone voting more than once or hackers getting into the system.

She also said county clerks welcome questions and will give election center tours to curious citizens to reassure the results are valid.

“The reason it is so important is that it is the foundation of our democracy. The results don’t mean anything if people don’t trust them,” said Jackson.

In Utah County, windows and cameras allow people to watch the process in real time.

Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by Monday. At this point, election officials say it’s best to put your ballot in a drop box to ensure it is counted or vote in person on Tuesday.