Utah

Snapshot: Utah has good scores for ease of voting, ballot security and its elected officials’ response to claims about the 2020 election.

Ease of Voting

Many measures to expand access
6 out of 7 benchmarks

Ballot Security

Many measures to ensure accuracy and security
6 out of 8 benchmarks

What Politicians Say

Several responses that undermined the 2020 election
2 out of 4 benchmarks

The state’s election system has so far survived the new Republican skepticism over vote-by-mail.

Following the lead of Oregon, Washington and Colorado, Utah began experimenting with mail-in voting in 2012 before adopting it statewide in 2019. It is now the only Republican-led state among the eight that have all-mail elections.

But former President Donald Trump’s attacks on mail-in voting have raised new questions in a state where it previously was not controversial.

Yet a bill to end vote-by-mail without an excuse failed to make it out of committee. An initiative to move back to traditional Election Day voting in person also fell short of qualifying for the November 2022 ballot by more than 100,000 signatures.

Republican Governor Spencer Cox defended mail-in voting during a governors’ summit in 2022, saying it was important to push back against “misinformation spread by any party.”

Since 2020, Cox has signed a number of smaller measures, including removing dead voters from the rolls more regularly, requiring video surveillance of ballot drop boxes and tightening voter ID requirements.


Ease of Voting

Is the state making it easy for eligible voters to register and cast a ballot?
Met 0 out of 0 benchmarks
How Utah compares to other states
Utah
Other states
← Easier to vote
Harder →
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
Number of total benchmarks met

Other new laws allow voters to receive text messages or emails when their ballot has been counted and set a deadline for voters to fix a rejected ballot.


Ballot Security

Is the state following best practices to ensure ballot counting is accurate and timely?
Met 0 out of 0 benchmarks
How Utah compares to other states
Utah
Other states
← More secure
Less secure →
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
Number of total benchmarks met

Lawmakers also passed legislation in 2021 and 2022 requiring local elections administrators to keep track of how many uncounted ballots remain at the end of each day, requiring an annual statewide audit of the voter rolls and barring private donations to run elections, such as the grants local elections administrators requested and received from Meta Platforms Inc Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg in 2020.

Read More: Zuckerberg’s Election Aid Spurs GOP Drive in 30 States to Ban It


How Politicians Responded to the 2020 Election

What did the state do in the aftermath of Trump's defeat?
Met 0 out of 0 benchmarks
How Utah compares to other states
Utah
Other states
← Fewer efforts to undermine 2020 election
More →
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
Number of total benchmarks met

Attorney General Sean Reyes supported a Texas lawsuit seeking to have the Supreme Court intervene in the election.

Two of Utah’s four Republican US representatives objected to the certification of Biden electors from Pennsylvania.


Read the full methodology
Story by: Ryan Teague Beckwith and Bill Allison
Graphics by: Paul Murray, Allison McCartney and Mira Rojanasakul
With assistance by: Rachael Dottle, Marie Patino, Jenny Zhang, Gregory Korte, Romy Varghese, Vincent Del Giudice, Nathan Crooks, Margaret Newkirk, Shruti Date Singh, David Welch, Elise Young, Dina Bass, Brendan Walsh, Carey Goldberg and Maria Wood
Editors: Wendy Benjaminson, Wes Kosova, Alex Tribou and Yue Qiu
Photo editors: Eugene Reznik, Marisa Gertz and Maria Wood
Photo credits: Getty Images, Bloomberg and AP Photo