WHEREAS the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees the right of its citizens to petition their leaders and representatives for a redress of grievances, and the Constitution of the sovereign state of Utah ratifies and expands upon that right, we the undersigned present to you the following demands to ensure clean, honest, and accurate election procedures and results:
1. This year the National Conference of State Legislatures again rated Utah’s voter ID law as “non-strict.” Utah does not require photo ID for voters and now allows “same day” registration and voting. We respectfully demand the requirement of photo ID at every stage of the voting process, including for mail-in ballots, and an end to “same day” voting.
2. One reason for public voter rolls is to ensure the transparency of elections. Currently, approximately 40% of the state voter file is not available to the public. Granting that a relatively small number of voters should be able to keep their registration information private (domestic violence victims, witness protection, etc.), we respectfully demand that with limited common sense exceptions, registered voter data should be made available to the public to maximize election transparency.
3. Since last year SEVEN states have ended their participation in ERIC, Inc., a private firm which manages Utah’s voter rolls. Concerns have been raised about voter roll inaccuracies and usage of the extensive data collected. ERIC’s original funding and current activities have been connected to actors with ideological motives. We respectfully demand that Utah withdraw from ERIC, Inc. and return management of the state’s voter rolls to personnel directly responsible to officials elected by the citizens of the state of Utah.
4. Utah has been experimenting at the municipal level with ranked-choice voting (RCV). We respectfully demand an end to the RCV experiment in Utah, and a prohibition on any election experiments, including “approval” voting.
5. Mail-in ballots have been identified by numerous experts as a notorious source of election fraud due to chain-of-custody, identification, intimidation, and voter roll issues. In addition, despite the statements of proponents, mail-in ballots cannot by themselves be shown to increase voter turnout. We respectfully demand a return to in-person, precinct voting, limiting mail-in ballots to those who are unable to vote at the polls on election day.
6. Organizations as disparate as the liberal Center for American Progress and the conservative Heritage Foundation believe voting over the internet is an unsafe practice. Yet Utah allows the emailing of votes from overseas and is experimenting with voting on cell phones. We respectfully demand voting over the internet be prohibited in all elections conducted in the state of Utah.
7. Ballots in Utah are counted by machines that prevent election watchers from seeing the actual counting of votes. These machines are almost always internet capable and make county and state election officials dependent on vendors who have appeared adverse to public scrutiny. Utah at one time counted the votes within each precinct, by hand, with results almost always available the same night. France recently counted 33 million votes by hand and issued the results on election night. Within the last two U.S. presidential election cycles, prominent figures from both major political parties (referring to different elections) have alleged that widespread fraud occurred, casting doubt on the machine-counted official election results. In this climate we respectfully demand a return to the hand counting of paper ballots in each neighborhood precinct on election day.
8. To ensure an accurate vote count and the confidence of citizens in the electoral process we respectfully demand an audit provision that mandates the recounting of a small sample of ballots by hand immediately after any election, with an expanded audit authorized if discrepancies are found.