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Thursday, October 27, 2016

No Stuffing Zone

Is the Utah Democratic Party cheating by illegally collecting mail ballots?

Posted By on October 27, 2016, 2:08 PM

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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump isn’t the only vigilant eye keeping watch for a rigged election. An email blast sent out Thursday from the Utah Republican Party claimed U.S. House candidate Doug Owens and the Utah Democratic Party were cheating by illegally collecting mail ballots.

“Due to recent events, it appears Doug Owens and the Utah Democratic Party are collecting ballots from voters in Salt Lake County,” it read. “Not only is this cheating, it is also a direct violation of election laws due to the undemocratic nature of undermining fair elections.”

But Taylor Morgan, spokesperson for Owens’ campaign, says the claims are patently false and a sign that the Republican Party is growing nervous about the District 4 race between Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, and Owens. “We’re following all the rules,” he says.

The lieutenant governor’s office, which oversees elections in the state, caught wind of the allegations but hadn’t received any complaints. At the behest of the Utah Democratic Party, the lieutenant governor’s office recently reminded all candidates not to pick up ballots, according to Mark Thomas, elections chief.

He couldn’t speculate whether the GOP’s claims had merit.

“Certainly we haven’t heard any specifics," Thomas says. “If there are concerns contact the lieutenant governor’s office. If there are specific concerns people need to let us know.”

The Utah Republican Party did not immediately return a call for comment.

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