OGDEN – With the arrival of the June 28 primaries, Weber County Office of Elections officials want the public to know they can count on the election results when they are released.
“We are really confident about the controls we have. We want the public to have the same level of trust,” said Ricky Hatch, who as Weber County Clerk-Auditor oversees the election process here.
To that end, the Weber County Office of Elections, under the Office of the Clerk-Auditor, invites the public to a presentation scheduled for May 25, “Election Integrity Night.” Election officials will answer questions from the public about the voting and counting process and will tour the election office.
“With ongoing allegations regarding election integrity, I encourage citizens to find out for themselves by learning the process and safeguards by speaking with those who actually administer elections,” Hatch said in a statement Monday. The 2020 US presidential vote sparked unfounded accusations by President Donald Trump of fraud in the voting process and he and many of his supporters continue to press charges.
The May 25 Elections Office presentation here will begin at 6 p.m. in the county commission rooms at the Weber Center, 2380 Washington Blvd. in Oden. “We encourage anyone who is interested to come and ask any questions they may have. No question is off limits,” Hatch said.
Lauren Shafer, who heads the electoral office, said the presentation will cover everything from the voter registration process to the counting of votes to the presentation of election results, including safeguards, checks and security measures. governing each step. Like Hatch, she expressed confidence in the security of the system used in Weber County, where mail-in voting dominates, as in Utah as a whole.
“We are really confident in the measures we are taking. We go above and beyond to be at the top of our game when it comes to election security,” Shafer said. Election officials held similar sessions with Weber County candidates running for office.
Next week’s presentation comes about a month before the June 28 primary, when voters are due to weigh in on the disputed Republican and Democratic races. The primaries in the U.S. Senate race will be on the ballot and with Utah heavily Republican, the June 28 results could be a precursor, in many cases, to the November results.
Primary ballots are due in early June.
Either way, the Weber County Elections Office plans to hold similar open houses ahead of the Nov. 8 general election.
Shafer said his office is getting calls from the public questioning election security, “but I wouldn’t say we’ve had a huge influx.”
Hatch said he sometimes responds to calls from the public asking about supposed irregularities in other states. “We can’t talk about what other states are doing, but we can talk about Weber County,” he said.
Stacy Cornell, who works in the elections office, said when the public learns how the process works, it puts them at ease. “When we have a tour, they’re sold out,” she said.
Among the top races relevant to Weber County voters are the U.S. Senate and U.S. 1st District races, each with three GOP contenders. There are also contested Republican primaries in the races for the Utah District 5 Senate seat and the Utah House Districts 8, 10, and 11 races.
Republican voters will weigh in on the primaries in races for the A and B seat positions on the Weber County Commission. They will also vote in the clerk-auditor race. Hatch faces a challenge from Toby Mileski in the GOP primary.
There are no contested local races on the Democratic side in Weber County.