Utah

Utah

Audit Laws

Audit Laws

State Summary

Utah audit statute can be found at UT Code § 20A-3-302(7). While the statute specifically addresses auditing signature affidavits, Utah counties also audit results as a matter of practice and as found in the election policy directive stated below.

Adopted in October of 2006, Utah’s most recently available audit provision allows for all items on the ballot to be audited, but the audit is not binding on the official election results and cannot lead to a full recount. According to the policy, the Lt. Governor shall randomly identify for audit one voting machine in each Utah House of Representative district. This is to be done until one percent of the total voting machines used statewide in the election are identified for audit.

Unless otherwise specified, statutory references are to the Utah Election Policy Directive issued by the Office of the Lieutenant Governor (not publicly available).

Voting Systems Used

As of 2020, most Utah voters vote by mail. For in-person voters, most Utah counties primarily use hand marked paper ballots and optical scanners in polling places, with ballot marking devices for accessibility; Salt Lake County uses DRE voting machines with VVPAT paper records. For the most up to date information please visit Verified Voting’s Verifier.

For an explanation on the types of voting equipment used, click here.

Audit Comprehensiveness

Statute is not explicit about what types of ballots are included. By implication, early-voted ballots are included in the audit. Utah’s directive requires that voting machines be audited and also requires those conducting the audit, “if applicable, note on a log provided . . . for that purpose that an audited machine was used both in early voting and on Election Day.”

Transparency

Under UT Code § 20A-3-201, watchers are allowed to observe various elections processes, including a post-election audit. The Lieutenant Governor’s Office posts the audit results publicly on their website.

Audit Counting Method

Counting is conducted manually.

Type Of Audit Units

The random selection process is designed to make sure that a total of at least 1% of voting machines used statewide are audited and that within this 1%, at least one voting machine in each Utah House of Representatives district is audited.

Contests & Issues Audited

All contests and ballot propositions are audited, with the exception of questions on judicial retention.

Addressing Discrepancies

Election officials are to “ascertain the reasons for any differences between the hand-counted and the machine total report results and to record the reasons” for such discrepancies. There are no further instructions for expanding the audit.

For recount laws, see Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota website.

Timeline

Election officials must submit serial numbers of voting machines to the Lieutenant Governor by noon on Election Day. The Lieutenant Governor must inform election officials of which machines are to be audited after the polls close on Election Day but no later that noon the next day. Each election official conducting an audit must publish a notice of the audit in a newspaper of general circulation at least two days before the audit. The audit is to be completed before the canvassers for the respective jurisdiction meet.

Binding On Official Outcomes

The audit results are not binding upon official election results and cannot affect outcomes.

Oversight & Conduct

The Office of the Lieutenant Governor oversees the audit and conducts the random selection, while local election officials conduct the audit.

Ballot Protection

Ballot boxes are to be sealed, locked and placed in a secure location. Additionally, ballots are to be preserved for 22 months after the election or until the time has expired during which the ballots could be used in an election contest. See UT Code § 20A-4-202.

Additional Targeted Samples

Statute does not provide for targeted samples.

Resources

Utah Election Policy Directive issued by the Office of the Lieutenant Governor
UT Code § 20A-3-302(7)

Donate to Verified Voting

A strong and healthy democracy depends on the security of our elections. Join us and help ensure that every vote counts.

Join Our Mailing List

The election landscape is constantly changing and full of complexities. We’ll keep you informed on what’s happening, and what we’re doing to make elections accurate and secure.