GOP lawmaker alleges fraud in Utah primary election. State says otherwise

Jun 27, 2022, 6:23 PM | Updated: 9:04 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A Republican state lawmaker raised a question about fraud in Utah’s GOP primary election in an inflammatory social media post over the weekend, but state officials say every voter — all eight of them — was able to cast a ballot for their preferred candidates.

Rep. Phil Lyman, R-Blanding, posted on Facebook early Sunday morning that he had several “reports” from people who claimed a voting machine changed their in-person vote for Sen. Mike Lee to Becky Edwards.

Lyman tried to get rid of the state’s mail-in voting system after making claims of election anomalies during the 2020 presidential election, offered no proof, but wrote, “Utah Voter Fraud?” over an image of the American flag.

Edwards and Ally Isom are challenging Lee in Tuesday’s GOP primary election.

The Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Office, which oversees elections in the state, saw social media posts alleging irregularities and looked into the claim.

Ryan Cowley, state elections director, said only eight voters in Wasatch County had used the machine.

“From everything we’ve seen, the votes were recorded correctly for those voters,” Cowley told KSL-TV and KSL Newsradio.

Cowley said the touch-screen ballot marking devices were set to a smaller font size to get all the races on one screen, squeezing the boxes closer together. He said that the font size has now been enlarged to make it easier for voters to make their choices.

Voters are given three opportunities to verify their selections, including a printed receipt before the vote is cast, Cowley explained. If a voter wants to make a correction, poll workers can spoil the ballot and give them a new one.

Joey Granger, Wasatch County clerk-auditor, said two of those eight voters asked for help from poll workers while using the machines.

“There were some issues, but the poll workers were able to resolve it, and the people confirmed that the ballots printed out the votes they wanted,” she told KSL. “I was unaware until the social media posts that somebody was a little disgruntled about the experience.”

Granger said no one said they had marked the ballot for Lee and it showed up as Edwards.

Edwards called Lyman’s claim of election fraud a “blatant and shameless” attempt to undermine the integrity of Utah elections.

“The right to vote is a cornerstone of our democratic republic, and Utahns should be deeply concerned, as I am, about false claims of election fraud. Extremists use this tactic in an attempt to sow seeds of doubt and ultimately dispute any result they disagree with,” Edwards tweeted.

Isom tweeted at Lyman, saying, “Your weekend conspiratorial texts about election security sent to Utah voters is what extreme voices do to politics. We need more straight talk from leaders, not more stunts. This further emphasizes the need for Utah to know their voice and vote matter.”

Edwards also called on Lee to condemn the false claims of election fraud.

“As we look forward to Election Day, our campaign has every confidence in Utah’s elected county clerks and the lieutenant governor’s office to oversee free and fair elections,” Lee campaign spokesman Matt Lusty said in a statement. “We thank them for their service.”

In his social media post, Lyman said the possibility of votes shifting after the receipt is printed is more concerning.

“The machines are programmed with functionality to do exactly that, switch votes,” he wrote. “We are finding evidence that the software absolutely has a back door.”

Cowley said he doesn’t know what Lyman is talking about. “I’m not aware of any back door,” he said, adding that an audit of the ballots is conducted after the election to verify they were counted accurately.

Utahns, Cowley said, can be confident the state conducts secure elections.

Lyman told KSL that he made the social media post to find out if anyone else was having an issue.

“I really wasn’t trying to stir up any controversy, but I want to find out if this is happening and get it resolved,” he said.

Lyman edited his original post saying he was asked to “adjust the tone” of it. He removed the image of the American flag and removed the word “urgent.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Kevin Linford (Facebook)...
Andrew Adams

Additional sex charges filed against Utah businessman; prosecutors fear more victims possible

A man accused of sexually abusing multiple women at a party in Davis County last summer now faces new charges in Salt Lake County. 
1 day ago
(Jackson Grimm/KSL TV)...
Debbie Worthen

Avalanches are bigger, more dangerous than past seasons in Utah

Utah gets hundreds of avalanches every year, but this year, those numbers are higher, and the slides themselves are becoming bigger and more dangerous.
1 day ago
Logan Stefanich

Alpine School District exploring potential closure of 5 elementary schools

The doors of five elementary schools in Alpine School District may be closing for good at the end of the school year due to seismic concerns.
1 day ago
(FILE) Salt Lake City Police car responding to a scene....
Madison Swenson

Man arrested after stealing thousands of dollars in merchandise from SLC airport store

A 30-year-old man accused of stealing nearly $4,100 worth of merchandise from a store inside the Salt Lake City International Airport has been arrested.
1 day ago
(KSL TV)...
Madison Swenson

West Valley City home heavily damaged by fire

A West Valley City home suffered significant damage Tuesday after a fire broke out in the kitchen.
1 day ago
(Utah County Sheriff's Office K-9 Team/Facebook)...
Cary Schwanitz and Madison Swenson

Utah County Sheriff’s Office mourning loss of retired K-9

The Utah County Sheriff’s Office is honoring a retired K-9 who died Monday.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Stack of old laptops with dark background...
PC Laptops

Old Laptop Upgrades You Need to Try Before Throwing it Away

Get the most out of your investment. Try these old laptop upgrades before throwing it out to keep it running fast and efficient.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Close up of an offset printing machine during production...
Les Olson IT

Top 7 Reasons to Add a Production Printer to Your Business

Learn about the different digital production printers and how they can help your company save time and money.
vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
GOP lawmaker alleges fraud in Utah primary election. State says otherwise