Henderson City Hall Focuses on Voting and Election Security | News, Sports, Jobs

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Lieutenant Governor Deidre Henderson speaks during a town hall held in Spanish Fork on Thursday, February 10, 2022.

Harrison Epstein, Daily Herald

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Utah Chief Electoral Officer Ryan Cowley speaks as Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson listens during a town hall in Spanish Fork Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022.

Harrison Epstein, Daily Herald

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Lieutenant Governor Deidre Henderson speaks during a town hall held in Spanish Fork on Thursday, February 10, 2022.

Harrison Epstein, Daily Herald

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State Senator Mike McKell applauds during a town hall meeting hosted by Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson in Spanish Fork Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022.

Harrison Epstein, Daily Herald

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Lieutenant Governor Deidre Henderson speaks during a town hall held in Spanish Fork on Thursday, February 10, 2022.

Harrison Epstein, Daily Herald

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Lieutenant Governor Deidre Henderson speaks during a town hall held in Spanish Fork on Thursday, February 10, 2022.

Harrison Epstein, Daily Herald

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A town hall attendee takes a photo of Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson as she speaks at Spanish Fork Town Hall on Thursday, February 10, 2022.

Harrison Epstein, Daily Herald
















Back in her old stomping grounds, Lieutenant Governor Deidre Henderson came to the River Bridge Event Center in Spanish Fork on Thursday for a town hall discussion. With a crowd comprised entirely of Utah County residents, save for one attendee from Salt Lake, the subject of the evening was clear from the start: the election.

Joined in front of the room by Ryan Cowley, the Chief Electoral Officer in the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, Henderson kicked off the evening with a speech about the office’s role and responsibility in voting and her personal and professional history in politics.

“The people running our elections are really good people. They are our neighbors and they all care about making sure we have safe elections, safe elections and that people have access to the ballot – eligible people have access to the ballot,” she said.

Henderson was also asked why his office had not released a complete state voters list. She explained that voter information is not stored and listed at the state level, but in each county. “I can’t make things up, I have to obey the law,” Henderson said.

Right after that was a question about a state-level forensic audit of the election. His answer was simple – an audit is performed as the results come in, and state law dictates that the results are stored, sealed and unseen, for 22 months before being disposed of.

Ranking voting was another topic of the evening. A handful of Utah state and county cities already use ranked choice, and a bill making it the standard in Utah has been introduced in the state legislature before being voted on. eventually withdrawn by Rep. Mike Newton.

“I think it was probably the right thing to do,” Henderson said. “As far as my office was concerned, we were pretty agnostic on this policy. We just want to make sure that we can manage this administratively.

She added that she would like the flaws in the system fixed before it is expanded further and reiterated that elections are not handled by the office of the lieutenant governor.

As the questions bounced around different aspects of the electoral process, ultimately we got to the heart of voters’ concerns – how they can give voters confidence in the security of the election.

“The individual also has a duty to ensure that they are acting in good faith, that they themselves are acting with integrity,” Henderson said.

A question about interstate voter registration sharing, to make sure people aren’t registered in multiple states, gave Cowley an opportunity to dispel conspiracy theories around ERIC — the voter information center. electronic registration.

He pointed out that there was no funding around the program from Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire founder of Facebook, or billionaire philanthropist George Soros. Soros is a Jewish investor and is often centered on right-wing conspiracy theories on everything from voter fraud to COVID-19.

Asked how the additional requirements are “similar to Jim Crow laws,” Henderson smiled and looked sideways before testifying against “arbitrarily making it harder” for people to vote.

She discussed people’s constitutional right to vote and the state constitution’s guarantee that Utah residents can vote without being denied the opportunity. Calling herself a “small government conservative,” Henderson said she believes adding barriers — eliminating mail-in voting or requiring drivers’ licenses — violates people’s rights.

Asked about efforts to combat lies about voting and voter fraud, Henderson said, “I don’t blame anyone for believing what they believe.” Henderson added that the best tool to fight misinformation is to be informed and to find accurate information. She also encouraged people to speak directly with election administrators rather than relying on the internet or the news.

Cowley also placated the crowd by telling them that no vote tabulation tool is ever connected to the internet, for all elections across the state. Cowley recently joined the lieutenant governor’s office after working as Weber County’s chief election officer.

Henderson also had the opportunity to tell her personal story when asked about the struggles and experiences as an elected woman.

“Women and men have different life experiences and different perspectives,” Henderson said. She added that the different perspectives provide a better overview of the state and the varied needs of residents.

Henderson is the second woman to serve as lieutenant governor, after Olene Walker. There has never been a woman elected Governor or US Senator from Utah.

Although he was more than happy to answer people’s questions and tell the truth, Henderson knew there was no way to guarantee that every person would agree with every answer, eventually saying, ” If you don’t like me, you can elect me in the next election. . And it’s okay!”

Henderson also encouraged people to reach out to elected officials to share ideas, concerns and thoughts about legislation or general governance.

Before winning her campaign for lieutenant governor, Henderson was a state senator for southern Utah County, including Spanish Fork. In attendance was incumbent district senator Mike McKell. Henderson also worked for U.S. Representative Jason Chaffetz during part of his time in Congress.



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