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Voters concerned about fraud, tampering with new mail-in ballots

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SALT LAKE CITY — Instead of heading to the polls, thousands of Utahns will head to the mail box to try the new mail-in ballot voting method that nine counties across Utah are testing out. But some residents are concerned ballots could get lost or tampered with.

Many voters in Davis county and eight other counties received a ballot in the mail last month that includes an envelope and, on the outside, a list of step-by-step instructions on how to vote by mail.

Some voters have some concerns about voter fraud with this system, while others are all for it.

“How are they going to verify — it says right there on the envelope, that we'll 'try and verify the signatures,' based upon what? What's the criteria?" said Bountiful resident Ken Hansen.

North Salt Lake resident Vern Martindale says he's worried about ballots getting lost in the mail. Election officials are quick to reassure voters, however.

“We've got some great temporary staff that have been poll workers for us in the past that we have brought in so they know the system, they know how important it is,” said Davis County election official Brian McKenzie.

McKenzie says staffers verify signatures against the signature on the voter registration card — and look at them carefully.

No time to mail in your ballot?
Visit vote.utah.gov and type in your address to find the nearest polling location.

“If there is ever any kind of a question with that, we're required by law to contact those voters and let them know that there is some sort of an issue with their signature,” he added.

They've had a lot of calls of concern about this mail-in process, McKenzie said, but also a lot of praise from voters who like being able to study the options on the ballot.

The mail-in elections process is much more cost-effective for the county, McKenzie said, and more convenient for some of the voters.

Voters in Davis County who want to go to the polls can go to any of the seven polling locations that will be open around the county on Tuesday. About 24 percent of voters in Davis County have already voted using a mail-in ballot, and officials are expecting a lot more envelopes to roll in between Monday and Tuesday.

People who are voting by mail must have their ballot in the mail and postmarked by Monday or it will not count.

To find the polling location nearest to you, visit vote.utah.gov.

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Nicole Vowell

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