Gov. Cox, Lt. Gov. ‘frustrated by misinformation’ presented in Utah judiciary interim committee

Oct 21, 2021, 3:44 PM | Updated: 3:52 pm

FILE: On the same day the Utah’s Senate unanimously passed a resolution to bring an NHL franchise...

FILE: On the same day the Utah’s Senate unanimously passed a resolution to bring an NHL franchise to the Beehive state, the governor, Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith, the House and Senate president and the sponsors of some legislation centered around the NHL were all on hand for a virtual meeting with the league’s commissioner, Gary Bettman. (Jason Olson, Deseret News Archives)

(Jason Olson, Deseret News Archives)

Utah’s Gov. Spencer Cox and his lieutenant governor said they were “frustrated by the misinformation that was presented in the Judiciary Interim Committee” Wednesday regarding the security of Utah’s elections.

In a statement Cox and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson jointly specified the misinformation given in the committee that voting machines can be hacked, that there are more ballots than voters, that algorithms control voter registration and “other spurious claims made without evidence.”

“All of these assertions are absolute falsehoods,” the statement said.

An estimated 200 people were at the State Capitol and packed into an overflowing committee hearing to support state Rep. Steve Christiansen — a Republican from West Jordan — who said he wants a “forensic” audit of Utah.

KSL.com reported the number of attendees from Utah Highway Patrol troopers counting in-person attendees. Christian commented during the hearing that 400 to 600 people turned up.

Cox and Henderson are also Republicans in Utah, a highly Republican state where President Donald Trump carried the state in the 2020 presidential election. Arizona, a Republican state where Trump lost to President Joe Biden, conducted what was widely called a flawed GOP-led audit by a suspect firm that confirmed Biden’s win.

The statement from Cox and Henderson said:

“We recognize some voters have legitimate questions about our elections and we invite all citizens to be involved in our local elections to see the process first-hand. But make no mistake: There is absolutely no evidence of election fraud in Utah. Utah has long been a model to the nation when it comes to voting and voter security. County clerks and local election offices execute their duties with accuracy and integrity. Utah follows the law.”

Christiansen, as reported by KSL.com, went to Arizona earlier this year to observe that state’s audit.

On Tuesday Christiansen was on a podcast hosted by former Trump strategist Steve Bannon. The Utah lawmaker was touting his efforts to gather many citizens at the rally on the following day.

Thursday the U.S. House of Representatives voted to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the committee investigating the violent Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

Christiansen wants to do away with voting by mail, a practice in place in Utah for nearly a decade. He also wants to do away with voting machines.

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Gov. Cox, Lt. Gov. ‘frustrated by misinformation’ presented in Utah judiciary interim committee