JUAB COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) — The former Juab County Clerk was charged Thursday by the Utah Attorney General’s Office for allegedly destroying ballots from the 2020 and 2022 elections.

Alaina Elder Lofgran, 67, is facing charges of willful neglect of duty (third-degree felony), destroying or concealing ballots (third-degree felony), destroying public records (third-degree felony), tampering with ballots (class-A misdemeanor), two counts of improper disposition of ballots (class-B misdemeanor), and two counts of unofficial misconduct (class-B misdemeanor).

Lofgran, the Juab County Clerk-Auditor from Jan. 2019 to Jan. 2023, is legally required to “deposit and lock ballots and election returns in a safe and secure place, […] preserve ballots
for 22 months after the election or until the time has expired during which the ballots could be
used in an election contest,” and in the event of an election contest, “keep the ballots and
election returns unopened and unaltered until the contest is complete.”

On Mar. 19, 2022, around 16 months after the Nov. 2020 general election, a lawsuit was filed against Juab County and several other Utah counties regarding citizen requests for 2020 election records.

Officials said that after the case was dismissed in Aug. 2022, an appeal was filed at the end of the month, and a “preservation order” related to the 2020 election records was reissued in early fall.

“Shortly after the November 8, 2022 general election, [Lofgran] was observed placing the ballots from the 2022 general election in a shred bin in the Juab County General Office,” charging documents state.

The shred bin was reportedly located in a large closet near the clerk’s office. While the closet door had a lock, office employees still had access to the closet.

“At the end of the large closet was a door to a smaller closet. The smaller closet, approximately five-foot square, also had a locked door. However, the only employees with access to the smaller closet were [Lofgran] and the other employees in the clerk’s office,” charging documents state.

A week later, a problem required that the ballots be recounted. Officials said four people — the deputy county clerk, an office assistant in the clerk’s office, an employee of the Juab County Planning & Zoning Department, and Lofgran — pulled the 2022 ballots out of the shred bin to do a recount.

Those ballots were reportedly placed on a shelf in the same closet.

Shortly after Thanksgiving 2022, the deputy county clerk saw Lofgran putting the 2022 ballots in the shred bin again.

When the deputy county clerk asked what she was doing, Lofgran replied, “We don’t need them anymore,” charging documents state. The deputy county clerk questioned Lofgran, allegedly asking her if they had “learned [their] lesson” about throwing ballots out, but Lofgran again replied that they did not need the ballots anymore.

Those shred bins were later picked up by a shred company, Certified Shred, both on Nov. 23 and Dec. 22 of 2023. The company reportedly shreds documents as soon as they are emptied into the company’s truck.

Upon being interviewed, Lofgran told the Attorney General’s Office that she knew ballots needed to be preserved, and that there were criminal ramifications for not doing so.

After a search of the Juab County Offices “vault,” where 2020 ballots and associated records were supposed to be stored, the 4,795 ballots that were cast in Juab County and counted in the 2022 general election were not found, nor were any ballot envelopes.

No further information is available at this time.