Love sues to halt vote count as she trails McAdams in tight race

Republican U.S. Rep. Mia Love walks to greets supporters during an election night party, in Lehi, Utah, Nov. 6, 2018, | Associated Press file photo by Rick Bowmer, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Republican U.S. Rep. Mia Love sued Wednesday to halt vote counting in the Utah race where she is narrowly trailing her Democratic challenger.

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, Democratic candidate for Utah’s 4th Congressional District, speaks to supporters during an election night party, in Salt Lake City, Nov. 6, 2018, | Associated Press file photo by Alex Goodlett, St. George News

Love’s campaign said in a lawsuit that the Salt Lake County clerk isn’t allowing poll-watchers to challenge findings during the verification process for mail-in ballots. Voting is done primarily by mail in Utah.

The campaign’s poll monitors have seen instances where a ballot was approved even though the signature did not appear to match the one on file, the suit claims.

Love campaign attorney Robert Harrington says in a statement that they’re “not accusing anyone of anything” but have seen a few cases that call for increased scrutiny.

No hearing was immediately set in the case.

County Clerk Sherrie Swenson, a Democrat, didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment. Her office had been scheduled to release additional results Wednesday afternoon.

Love’s challenger, Ben McAdams, is leading Love by less than one percentage point as vote-counting continues in the race that remains too close to call a more than a week after Election Day. McAdams is the mayor of Salt Lake County, where most voters in the district live.

His campaign did not immediately comment on the lawsuit.

Utah law allows challenges to a voter’s eligibility, but it is unclear how that applies to mail-in balloting recently adopted by most counties in the state. Utah Elections Director Justin Lee declined to comment.

It’s not the first lawsuit Swenson’s office has faced from Republicans this election cycle. A few days before the vote, two GOP candidates accused her of failing to send thousands of ballots to voters in a timely manner, but the case was tossed out after one hearing.

A similar lawsuit was filed in New Mexico on Tuesday by a Republican who lost her bid for a U.S. House seat. Yvette Herrell asked a county judge to impound absentee ballots so her campaign could inspect them after the county canvassing board certified that Democrat Xochitl Torres Small had won.

Written by LINDSAY WHITEHURST, Associated Press.

Associated Press writer Brady McCombs contributed to this report.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!


  • Comment November 14, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    She disgusts me and I’ll be so glad to be rid of her.

    • KR567 November 14, 2018 at 3:49 pm

      I’m sure she’s all heart broken over you Bob

    • mesaman November 14, 2018 at 6:37 pm


      • 42214 November 14, 2018 at 8:11 pm

        Care to explain how Comment is racist. You’re nuts.

        • DB November 15, 2018 at 4:02 pm

          He can’t. It’s the modern way of conversing. If you have nothing constructive to say, you call the other person a racist and sign off. The color of the other person’s skin doesn’t matter because we are all simply looking into a computer monitor. I’m trying to be a bit funny but it’s more close to the truth than I’d like to think.

        • mesaman November 15, 2018 at 7:35 pm

          If you could read, and comprehend 10 % of what you read you could follow the little dotted lines up to KR567. But then that would be unlikely.

          • 42214 November 16, 2018 at 12:09 am

            Explain the racism, not little dots or whether I can read. Don’t dodge or evade the question because you can’t answer it. Come on Nolan, be honest for a change.

          • KR567 November 16, 2018 at 8:23 am

            My comment has nothing to do with what you posted Nolan

  • Pheo November 14, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    What an outrage. I doubt my signature matches itself on most days.

  • Pheo November 14, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    I also want to add that in-person voter fraud is so rare that most of the people getting caught these days are people trying to make a political point by proving it is possible. Would you risk jail time to add your one vote to your favored candidate? In the meantime, tens of thousands of people have lost their right to vote because their registrations were invalidated for reasons as ridiculous as not voting in the last election or not checking the Mr./Mrs./Miss box on their registrations. If elections are getting stolen, it is by Republican governors and secretaries of state like Rick Scott and Brian Kemp.

  • iceplant November 14, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    Oh, for hell’s sake, Mia. This is why Republicans disgust me.
    Concede and walk away or pull a stunt like this and go down in flames.

    • Real Life November 14, 2018 at 4:37 pm

      And I suppose the recount in Georgia is okay with you because it’s a Democrat?

      • iceplant November 15, 2018 at 3:54 am

        1. I don’t live in Georgia. I don’t care.
        2. Your supposition is predictable.
        3. Stop trolling.

        • Real Life November 15, 2018 at 10:19 am

          Let’s try this again, since the editors didn’t like my first retort.
          1. It’s obvious, you don’t care.
          2. Your supposition is based on pure ignorance.
          3. Look at your past posts and tell me who the troll is here.

          • iceplant November 15, 2018 at 12:21 pm

            Let’s break this down, shall we?
            If it was obvious to you that I don’t care, why did you bother to ask me about Georgia in the first place? You already had your answer.
            My supposition??? Do you even know what a supposition is? Please point out where I made a supposition. Go ahead, I’ll wait. If you think I’m trolling this place then you clearly don’t even read my posts. You simply gloss over them, cherry-pick what you don’t like, then feign outrage by attempting to turn the tables and say that I’m the troll. LOL… okay.

            Can you see what I just did there? Or do I need to spell that out for you too?

          • Real Life November 15, 2018 at 4:41 pm

            Oh I know what supposition means, and I definitely got you pegged. Yours is the same as Antifa, and other misguided morons that stalk conservatives at restaraunts and make fools out of themselves in public. You, in particular, go after anybody in these comment sections that disagrees with your hateful rhetoric, and then play victim when called out. Trolls with feelings are a funny thing. See what I did there?

        • bikeandfish November 15, 2018 at 11:26 am

          Do you not recognize the inflammatory nature of your posts? Its hard not to see your comments as trolling most of the time.

          And I don’t agree with RealLife much on this forum but they are accurate to point out the contrast between coverage of the McAdams v Love issue versus that of Georgia and other close call states. Its not too much to ask for citizens to approach such issues with consistency.

          I’ve never quite understood how such a long standing democracy/republic likr ours manages to botch the integrity of our elections so often. And to be proactive, left-leaning districts seems to be just as bad as right-leaning ones. It’s ridiculous and is feeding the growing tension in our country.

          • iceplant November 15, 2018 at 12:35 pm

            My posts are only inflammatory to you.
            My posts are my own and I make ZERO apologies.
            If you don’t like what I have to say, that’s fine with me. Don’t read it.
            But I will never, EVER change my positions or my opinions to suit the needs of others. Especially those who wander this world completely full of crap and attempting to pass it off on others as truth. Do you tolerate people who openly lie? Do you think it’s even remotely OK that we have a country being lead by the biggest liar to ever occupy the white house? Do you know that our children see his lies and they think that if he can do it, so can they? DO YOU EVEN CARE?
            You go ahead and try to make nice with the other side. I’ve had it with these fools running their fool’s errands.

            When it comes to Repubs, I refer to my favorite line from The Outlaw Josey Wales:
            “There’s another old saying, senator. Don’t p**s down my back and tell me it’s raining.”

          • bikeandfish November 15, 2018 at 3:16 pm


            Clearly I’m not alone given your complaint about editor’s here requiring a response from them that reads:

            “Without knowing which comment you might be referring to, if you had a comment deleted, the best possibility is that you were being insulting”

            But I have no problem being the sole person highlighting your inflammatory rhetoric. Nor does that mean I passively tolerate Trump’s inhumane and dangerous behavior (see interactions with LBA in the past over issues like immigration). Its not a binary choice and they aren’t mutually exclusive.

            You’ve been cranking up the heat on your comments for a month or two. And yes, you have every right to do so according to the guidelines and generic permission of those who moderate the comments. But that doesn’t mean they will go uncriticized. And as you will see from interactions from others recently (LBA, comments) I can be rather persistent and unaffected by grovelling like all caps, doubling down on prejudicial discrimination, etc. Inflammatory/insulting comments don’t live in a vaccuum and “free speech” was never a love it or leave it proposition.

            Best of luck.

          • Comment November 15, 2018 at 7:10 pm


  • Kilroywashere November 14, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    Let’s be honest, if Mia had embraced the Utah Trump nation she wouldn’t be in this predicament, rather she would be enjoying the fruits of victory. Now before anybody attacks me for being or sounding pro -Trump, I am simply putting forth a speculative opinion. That is all. I truly believe she could have won if she had switched tactics. So be happy Dems, Utah is Trump Country, and failure to leverage that political force results in losing your congressional seat. Enjoy the win.

    • iceplant November 15, 2018 at 3:56 am

      Trump is hated in Utah too.
      The only problem is, he has voices here who think they’re in the majority. You’re not.

  • An actual Independent November 14, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    Well sure. The last thing a representative democracy needs is people counting the votes. This outrage needs to end!

  • bikeandfish November 14, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    Why isn’t there an existing standard of practice for this issue?

    The move to mail in ballots was handled sloppily across the country. They should allow for multiple methods of confirmation, not just visual confirmation of signatures by staff. The federal government has PIN use in place for various systems. Seems like there should be designs in place to avoid denying someone’s vote because someone subjectiely believes they don’t match.

    • Utahguns November 15, 2018 at 10:33 am

      My grandson went for a $13/hour job interview with UPS.
      One of the prerequisites for the interview was that he bring TWO forms of ID….Drivers license, Social Security card, birth certificate and/or passport.

      A few days ago I bought some cigars in Las Vegas. Although I was older than some of surrounding dirt on this property, I was asked to show my ID.
      Now, why can’t the voting process be screened similarly?
      The answer is simple and obvious.
      Just think how many illegals, criminals, individuals on say, “America’s most wanted list” 🙂 could be located.
      Again, the answer is simple and obvious.

      If you have nothing to hide, there’s no reason to hide.

      • bikeandfish November 15, 2018 at 11:19 am

        That’s not fully the issue at hand as the votes being contested are mail in ballots, which much of the state uses now. Its an issue of signature confirmation not IDs. Ultimately signature confirmation is fraught with subjective interpretation made worse as its not a specialty of those doing the work.

        • Utahguns November 15, 2018 at 1:48 pm

          My comment was not intended to fully address the issue and I understand the story’s focus on signature verification. My comment was intended to highlight just one of the many voting problems that exist today that leave ample room for voter fraud.
          I figure my comment was best suited for this story than the “haystack fire in Bunkerville” piece.

          • bikeandfish November 15, 2018 at 2:20 pm

            The problem with such claims is its normally a solution in search of problem that doesn’t really exist. The only studies I’ve seen show the rate of voter fraud show its extremely rare (statistically insignificant) and when it does happen it doesn’t do in quantities capable of influencing election results.


            But even if voter identification laws were justified and necessary to prevent fraud they haven’t been introduced in a manner consistent with protecting our franchise. Look to the southeast and the examples of states closing DMV offices in largely minority districts. Its no coincidence this happened after the Voting Rights Act was undermined and gutted. A country and state that cared about franchise and potential fraud would implement a system that provided free identification (realities of povert) that are readily available. For example, Georgia’s early identification law was ruled unconstitutional because it acted as a default “poll tax”. Ironically there is more evidence, including legal cases, that highlight state based voter suppression as an issue than there is evidence of voter fraud.


            I’m all for addressing national issues I just don’t believe the cure should be worse than the disease. The facts show we don’t have a significant voter fraud problem that impaxts elections, no matter how much Trump claims the opposite. But we do have an issue suppressing voters in this countrt especially against minorities.

  • jpff November 15, 2018 at 6:03 am

    Mrs. Love is losing for two reasons:
    The liberal movement in highly populated Salt Lake county is strongly democrat, and
    She has not strongly supported what the Republican group wanted from our reps during her term; therefor, she did not get the support from GOP votes. Had she done so, there would have been more people who would not have left her box blank this time.
    Basically, she is losing due to the number who have indicated they chose not to vote for anyone at all rather than to vote for a Republican who would not represent their desires.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.