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Commission begins audit process for 2022 primary elections | News, Sports, Jobs

ByChad J. Johnson

Jul 27, 2022

Kelcie Hartley, Daily Herald

Utah County Commissioners, from left, Bill Lee, Tom Sakievich and Amelia Powers Gardner participate in a Utah County Commission meeting Wednesday, June 29, 2022.

The Utah County Commission decided on Wednesday to create a Request for Proposals that will include “Professional Statistical Audit Capabilities” for the audit/statistical analysis of the 2022 Utah County primary election results during the regular meeting.

Commissioner Bill Lee led the discussion following conversations the commissioners had at the Solicitors Council meeting on July 12.

“As commissioners, we want fair and honest elections,” said Lee, who lost his re-election campaign to Brandon Gordon in June. “We want to be able to verify the elections as much as possible without compromising the integrity of the election or compromising the machines. I think all of these things are part of the goal, and do I think all of this will solve anything? No. I think this is a step that will move us in a direction that hopefully will be helpful.

Lee proposed a two-step process. The commissioners first discuss how they would proceed to have an audit of the election results carried out, then agree on a plan to implement.

Utah County Assistant Attorney Paul Jones said he was unsure if the audits could be done by an outside entity or if they had to be done by the Utah County Office of Elections.

“I think something like that would be nice,” Lee said. “We are already doing it financially. We are already doing this on the HR side. We hire to look inside, so I think these are helpful.

Not everyone involved knew whether election data became the property of the lieutenant governor’s office after the results were certified.

Amelia Powers Gardner suggested taking a different approach, first hiring a third-party auditing firm, asking them what information they would need to perform the audit, how much it would cost, and then deciding if it would be possible to proceed.

Lee said it was a great idea, but he preferred to send out a request for proposal (RFP) as it would provide the necessary information and a cost estimate.

The commissioners then opened the floor to comments from the public. Many members of the public expressed similar concerns about the integrity of the election and a lack of trust in the government.

Provo resident Sylvia Andrew had issues with the statewide primary election results. Andrew previously ran for the Utah State Senate in Provo, in part running against collecting signatures to qualify for the primary ballots.

“I just can’t believe every ‘America First’, patriotic, every person I know except Kira Birkeland has lost their primary races,” Andrew said. “I just can’t get used to it. It does not mean anything. It is vital that we have electoral integrity. I don’t trust machines either. There are people who have said in interviews that there are 15 ways to fool the machines we have. I agree with Bill Lee to hire an independent auditor because I think it will be a good start.

Orem resident Sharon Anderson said she has been concerned about election processes since 2020.

“I understand that the lieutenant governor has a lot of control and the county doesn’t have a lot of say, but what if Utah County accepted in-person voting and the use of ballots? vote? What if every other county in this state accepted this? I think we could influence the lieutenant’s office and the legislature,” she said.

Statistician Cindy Butler, who attempted to make a presentation on what the commissioners could do with the registration data at the Solicitors Council meeting, also addressed the council on Wednesday.

“I think it’s fine to do those kinds of things if you want to do your own audit, and I think it’s fine to hire an outside company to do those same audits, but that’s not enough” , Butler said. “It is impossible to detect ballot stuffing or digital manipulation from these standard audits. It’s impossible. You need to have a full context of all data to detect this kind of nefarious activity. »

In other cases, Powers Gardner supported a resolution to designate August as Utah County Breastfeeding Month. August is also World Breastfeeding Month and the first week of the month is World Breastfeeding Week.

Powers Gardner read the resolution, saying the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that, among Utah infants born in 2019, 86.5% were ever breastfed, but Utah County breastfeeding rates Utah topped those in the state at 90.5%.

“Without a lactation consultant, I don’t know if I would have been able to breastfeed my son, and I’ve used lactation support with all three,” Powers Gardner said. “Some things come more naturally to some than others, and for me, I struggled. I needed the help of a consultant, and we have some great ones in the county.”

She also touched on formula shortages in the United States and the difficulties some mothers face in properly feeding their children.

“I will be working with our health promotions with the health department throughout August to make sure that BYU and UVU, the malls and the airport in Provo and those places have the areas where mothers can get the support they need,” said Powers Gardner. .

Commissioner Tom Sakeivich suggested changing a section of the resolution from “breastfeeding for the first six months of life” to “breastfeeding for the first six months after birth”. His reasoning comes from his position regarding the point where life begins. The resolution was unanimously approved after the change.


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