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Sean D. Reyes
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Utah Attorney General’s Office Prepares to Respond to Election Issues

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 2, 2020

UTAH ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE PREPARES TO RESPOND TO
ELECTION ISSUES

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Attorney General’s Office is working with the Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Office, county election officials and law enforcement to encourage Utahns who choose to cast a ballot in-person while voting this November 3rd to do so safely, and to report any intimidation or apparent interference with voter’s access to the polls that they may encounter.
 
Incidents of intimidation or fraud have historically been very rare in Utah, especially since most people vote by mail. State and local officials have safeguards in place to ensure election security and reliability. Political tension is always a factor, however, and may warrant a more focused response in the event of violations outlined in the Utah ‘Voting Offenses’ statute**(see below).
 
Illegal behavior such as voter intimidation or fraud will not be tolerated.
 
Anyone who feels unsafe or witnesses immediate threatening and illegal behavior should call 911 for the fastest response.
 
For non-emergency concerns regarding voting and election issues, the public is encouraged to:

  • Speak to elections officials at polling locations who can respond to concerns right away.
  • Call 911 to report emergencies or physically dangerous situations.
  • Non-emergency concerns not related to safety should be referred to the Utah State Elections Office at 801-538-1041. Concerns can also be reported to the Attorney General’s Office at 801-381-6168.


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** Utah Code at UCA 20A-3a-part 5 (sections 501-506). And UCA 20A-4-part 5 prohibits forgery and interference with election returns, and 20A-1-part 6 deals with bribery, fraud, ballot tampering, and other “Election Offenses”.

U.S. Supreme Court Denies GOP Appeal Over Election Law SB54

March 4, 2019

This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the Utah Republican Party’s request to review a law that allows a dual path to the ballot for political candidates. Candidates seeking election can either collect signatures, go through the caucus-convention system, or both.

A Short History of SB 54

SB54 Elections Amendments was passed in the 2014 Legislative Session. Over the next several years, a series of lawsuits were filed by the Utah Republican Party (URP) and others.

  • In December 2014, the URP filed the first lawsuit against Governor Herbert and Lieutenant Governor Cox. In the lawsuit, the URP sought a preliminary injunction to stay the implementation of SB54. The court denied that request.
  • In November 2015, the court closed the first case, rejecting nearly all of the claims in the first lawsuit and leaving SB54 largely intact.
  • In January 2016, the URP filed a second lawsuit against Lieutenant Governor Cox, and the court held a hearing to discuss the claims that SB54 was unconstitutional.
  • In February 2016, the Utah States District Court for the District of Utah certified two questions of state law to the Utah Supreme Court, which responded that a political party must allow its members to seek the party’s nomination through either or both methods of collecting signatures.
  • In April 2016, the Utah States District Court for the District of Utah upheld the law as constitutional. In response, the URP appealed the District Court’s grant of summary judgment.
  • In March 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court’s judgment upholding the dual-track nomination system.
  • In October 2018, the Party petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Tenth Circuit’s decision upholding SB54. This morning, that petition was denied.

Links:

SB 54 Frequently Asked Questions

Utah Solicitor General Tyler Green’s Brief to U.S. Supreme Court on SB54

3/4/19 U.S. Supreme Court Order

GOP Chairman Rob Anderson’s Statement

Keep My Voice Executive Director Phill Wright’s Statement

Salt Lake Tribune – Long legal battles over Utah election law end as U.S. Supreme Court refuses to accept GOP appeal

Deseret News – U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear GOP appeal of candidate nomination law

Fox 13 – U.S. Supreme Court won’t hear Utah GOP’s lawsuit over political candidates who gather signatures

Utah Policy – Supreme Court rejects appeal over SB54, meaning Utah’s law allowing candidates to gather signatures stands…for now

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