Category Archives: Elections

vote.utah.gov

A Message from Clerk/Auditor

I want to apologize to anyone who had a longer wait this morning to vote, to anyone who had a poor voting experience or had unexpected heartburn because a number of our voting machines were not working when the polls opened this morning. We had an error in programming the “memory cards”. That error originated in our office. Once the error was discovered, we went about re-programming the memory cards in question and those corrected cards started to be delivered at about 8:30 am — the final corrected cards were delivered shortly after noon. We had number of people from various county departments help in getting those corrected cards delivered. I appreciate their help. Again, I apologize for what happened.

Thanks,
Kim M Hafen
Washington County Clerk-Auditor

Rigged Elections? Not On Our Watch.

You may have recently seen harrowing headlines like “Russians Hack Elections System,” “Rigged Elections?” and “Is Our Democracy at Risk?” Your Utah elections officials would like to offer our own headline: “Rigged Elections? Not On Our Watch.”

Utah’s election officials are like momma bears, fiercely protective of the security and integrity of our elections systems. Here’s how these systems work, and why they’re safe.

Almost 75 percent of Utah’s votes are cast by mail. The Legislature and county clerks have implemented strict controls to ensure each ballot is safe, secure, and secret. Every single voter’s signature is verifiedby a trained elections worker. Every envelope is scanned before being counted, preventing a voter from submitting more than one ballot. Ballots are stored under lock and key, and at least two elections workers are present whenever ballots are handled or processed. Reconciliations are used throughout the process to ensure no ballot is lost, and no new ballots are introduced. Citizens are always welcome to watch and scrutinize this process. Observers always leave confident that the process is well
controlled.

You might think, these sound like good controls, but what about the system that totals the votes, and the transmission of election results? Are they safe?

Absolutely! Each county’s central counting server is located in a physically secure environment, and is not connected to the Internet or any other network. Ever. It compiles votes from the scanned paper ballots and from the touchscreen voting machines, tabulates the totals, and prints the results. This printed document is the official election record, and is kept by the county clerk.

Clerks transmit results to the Lieutenant Governor’s office via secure electronic methods. After validation by the state, clerks immediately compare the results to the county’s official record to ensure the transmission was accurate.

What about the voting machines at polling places? Can they be hacked remotely?

Nope. The voting machines at polling places are not networked, nor are they ever connected to the Internet. They don’t have modems, network cards, or Wi-Fi. Hacking would require separate physical access to each machine. Clerks store these machines in secure locations, with multiple pre-numbered
security seals to detect tampering. Poll workers check the seals and reconcile vote totals throughout the day to ensure the number of votes cast equals the number of voters who have checked in.

Each machine has a paper printout that shows the voter how their vote is being recorded. That paper trail allows us to compare the digital vote record with the physical record without compromising the voter’s secret ballot. Every county audits a sample of machines. In 11 years, there has never been a
discrepancy between what was recorded electronically and what was recorded on paper.

Your local election official is fiercely protective of your vote. Still not convinced? Come take a look! We’d love to walk you through the entire process. You’ll walk away, as hundreds already have, confident that your vote is indeed safe, secret, and secure, even from Russian hackers!

Submitted by: Utah’s 29 County Clerks and the Lieutenant Governor’s Elections Team

For more information, visit “Open Letter from the Nation’s Secretaries of State to Congress: Let’s Work Together to Share the Facts About Cybersecurity and Our Elections”.

Notice of Public Hearing for Proposition 1 – Sales Tax for Transportation

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that on August 16, 2016, the County Commission of Washington County, Utah, adopted a resolution in which it authorized a ballot proposition seeking the registered voter’s opinion on the imposition of a sales and use tax of 0.25% for highways and transportation pursuant to Title 59, Chapter 12, Part 22 of the Utah Code Annotated 1953, as amended and called a public hearing to receive input from the public with respect to the proposed tax. If approved, the tax revenue would provide funding for transportation improvement such as roads, trails, sidewalks, maintenance, bus services, traffic and pedestrian safety features. The revenue would be divided among the county, cities, and towns in accordance with Utah law.

Time, Place, and Location of Public Hearing

The Commission shall hold a public hearing on Tuesday, October 18, 2016, at the hour of 6:00 pm in the County Administration Building, located at:

197 East Tabernacle Street
St. George, UT 84770
(Google Maps)

The purpose of the hearing is to receive input from the public with respect to the proposed tax. All members of the public are invited to attend and participate.

If special accommodations are required, please contact Nicholle Felshaw (435-634-5700 or email) with reasonable advance notice.

Individuals with speech and/or hearing impairments may call the Relay Utah by dialing 711. For Spanish, dial Spanish Relay Utah 888-346-3162.

Published in The Spectrum newspaper on October 1, 2016 and October 8, 2016. Posted in conjunction with publishing:

Kim M. Hafen
Clerk-Auditor
Washington County of Utah

Zion National Park

Proposition 1 – Sales Tax for Transportation

Click here to learn about Proposition 1 – Sales Tax for Transportation

At the Commission meeting held on August 16th, there was a discussion in regards to a ballot initiative for a ¼ of 1% sales tax for transportation. To become better aware of the issue, please watch the informational discussion video (click here). It was determined that Proposition 1, Local Option Sales Tax, will be added to the ballot in November to be voted on by the citizens of Washington County. Please pass this along to Washington County residents so that they too will be informed come the November election.

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