Bill would make tampering with Utah ballot drop boxes a felony offense

Utah is one of only eight states where registered voters receive a mail-in ballot for all elections, with more limited mail-in options available in 33 other states | Photo courtesy Laura Images/Adobe Stock via Public News Service, St. George New

SALT LAKE CITY — A bill that would increase criminal penalties for tampering with ballot drop boxes cleared a House committee on Wednesday, although its sponsor said he is unaware of widespread drop box tampering.

HB 347, sponsored by Rep. Michael Petersen, R-North Logan, would increase the penalty for drop box tampering from a class A misdemeanor to a third-degree felony, which is punishable with up to five years imprisonment and a fine up to $5,000.

“While it’s not been reported yet in Utah, there are numerous sightings around the nation where ballot drop boxes have been set on fire or shot or had the ballots stolen from them,” Petersen told the House Government Operations Committee on Wednesday. “And so, this bill just increases the penalty to maybe help make sure folks don’t want to engage in those kinds of things here in Utah.”

Although he wasn’t opposed to the idea of the bill, Rep. Norman Thurston, R-Provo, questioned whether the Utah Legislature’s approach to criminal penalties is arbitrary.

Read the full story here:  KSL News.


Check out all of St. George News’ coverage of the 2023 Utah Legislature here.


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