How Utah is keeping its elections secure

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Election integrity has been a concern among certain groups for years, but the 2020 election brought that issue to the forefront, even though that election had been vetted as one of the most secure elections in history.

One of the major concerns brought up involved mail-in ballots. For some states in 2020, it was a major adjustment, but for Utah, it was just another election.

Utah conducts its elections largely by mail. Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen says the county started mail-in ballots for municipal elections in 2015.

According to Swensen, every ballot has a unique id number that is connected to a statewide database. When a ballot is mailed in, the signatures are checked to make sure it matches the voter’s record. Swensen says this is what prevents people from mailing in fake ballots. However, if someone does have a concern, Swensen says she wants to be as transparent as possible, whether it’s offering tours or working with poll watchers.

Swensen says voters deserve to know how the process works.

“We have so many people working so hard to do the job that they need to do, and we value the votes that every voter casts. We want everything to be counted accurately. And we have a great security system in place,” said Swensen.

Since implementing mail-in ballots, Swensen says voter turnout has increased significantly. Last year Salt Lake County had a 90 percent turnout.

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