Jun 27, 2022 - Politics

Utah Rep. Phil Lyman alleges election fraud ahead of primary

Illustration of a checkmark being studied and measured by a variety of hands
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Rep. Phil Lyman (R-Blanding) took to social media on Sunday suggesting voting machines had been tampered with ahead of Tuesday's primary elections.

Details: Lyman said he received "several reports" of votes for incumbent Republican Sen. Mike Lee being switched to votes for Lee's opponent Becky Edwards.

  • Lyman did not respond to Axios' request for comment.

What happened next: Edwards almost immediately refuted Lyman's claims of election fraud, calling it a tactic used by extremists to undermine Utah's election system and to refute the results they disagree with.

What they're saying: "Utah is a model for safe and secure elections, including voting in-person and by mail. Any claim otherwise is a blatant and shameless attempt to undermine the integrity of our elections," she said in a statement.

The other side: "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," Matt Lusty, a campaign spokesperson for Lee, said in a statement.

What they found: Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson, who oversees elections in the state, said her office investigated Lyman's claims.

  • Her team found the selection of two voters was not recorded properly as a result of the small font size in one ballot marking machine in Wasatch County.
  • As of Monday afternoon, fewer than eight voters had used the machine.
  • "Individuals who use the machines have three chances to verify and correct their ballots. Every voter who used the machine in question was able to cast a vote for their preferred candidates in the end," she said on Twitter. "The county clerk has now corrected the issue by increasing the font size."

Flashback: Lyman sponsored a bill earlier this year to eliminate vote-by-mail and restrict voting access in Utah after making claims of election anomalies in the state during the 2020 presidential election. The measure failed to pass.

  • In 2019, an audit of Utah's elections security found "very little risk" of fraudulent voting.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to show the lieutenant governor's office is now reporting two voters' ballots were affected (not one).

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