Lawsuit filed against Salt Lake County Clerk over missing ballots dismissed

Local News
mail-in ballots

SALT LAKE COUNTY (ABC4 News)- A lawsuit filed against the Salt Lake County Clerk that claims she failed to get mail-in ballots to some voters by the required deadline was dismissed by a judge Monday.

“The court finds that there has been full and complete compliance with the law by Ms. Swensen,” court papers stated.

Dan McCay, the current Representative for District 41 and candidate for Senate District 11, and Rozan Mitchell, the Republican candidate for County Clerk, were behind the lawsuit.

McCay and Rozan claim thousand of voters didn’t receive mail-in ballots in time and blame Clerk Sherrie Swensen.

“The timely mailing of absentee ballots is critical to conducting a proper election that reflects the deliberate and reasoned votes of citizens,” the lawsuit stated. “Voters who opted to receive an absentee ballot may not receive one in time, or with enough time to make a deliberate and reasoned decision.”

ABC4 News spoke with Swensen before the announcement of the lawsuit. At the time, Swensen said most of the people who don’t get their mail-in ballots on time are people who have moved and haven’t updated their address.

“If they didn’t get a ballot mailed to them, they now have to go to an early voting location or a vote center,” said Swensen.

She says there are early voting locations available throughout the county and folks can vote in person on election day.

But Mitchell says “Ensuring a fair and transparent election should be the top priority of the Clerk’s Office,” adding, “Any time voters are left in the dark, and will potentially be left out of the process, elected officials should be held accountable.”

In a later interview with ABC4 News Swensen said ballot issues were caused by the printing company in Washington State, but had since been resolved. She notes those were all people who regisersted after the first batch of ballots were mailed out.

Swensen said more confusion was caused when she mentioned they had bought more than 40,000 extra envelopes from the printer. Which many misinterpreted as ballots that didn’t go out.

“It was never 40,000 people who didn’t get a ballot,” said Swenson. “That was something they heard from that story.”

Swensen believes this is a political stunt and told ABC4 News the lawsuit isn’t based off the facts.

Mitchell denies that charge and said it’s about having transparency in getting voter information.

“It’s hard for me to understand and believe that when you’re trying to mail out ballots to people that you don’t have a list of who those people are,” said Mitchell.

Click here to read the full lawsuit.

The following Monday the case was dismissed. 

If you have any questions about your ballot or voting status, the county clerk’s office wants to help:

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...