Former Poll Worker Charged with Felony for Allegedly Altering Election Document in Cache County

A former poll worker for the Cache County Clerk’s Office, Dustin James Hansen, has been charged with a felony after allegedly altering an election-related document during the 2023 General Election. The document in question was provided to the Lieutenant Governor’s Office and was meant to prove the testing of ballot tabulation machines.

According to charging documents, Hansen is accused of editing the document to show a different completion date for the tests than when they were actually conducted. The charges against him include willful neglect of duty and corrupt conduct by a poll worker, both of which are third-degree felonies carrying a maximum sentence of five years in state prison.

The charges against Hansen come after a review of the Cache County municipal general election held in November 2023 by Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson’s office. In a letter to David Benson, Henderson expressed deep concerns about the findings of the review, which revealed an unprecedented lack of controls, widespread violations of Utah election law and administrative rules, and a disregard for policies and practices established by her office.

The review found that the County Clerk’s office failed to complete accuracy and logic tests of the ballot tabulating machines before running the ballots for counting. Additionally, the office discovered that the chain of custody practices for the ballots had been repeatedly violated, with improper retrieval, handling, batching, documentation, and storage.

Despite these errors, Henderson’s office determined that they did not impact the primary or general election. However, she emphasized the need to address these issues promptly to prevent opportunities for fraud and election manipulation.

In response to concerns raised by Henderson’s office, Cache County Clerk David Benson initiated an audit in December. Two elections staff members were placed on administrative leave, and Benson recused himself from the Clerk/Auditor office to ensure an impartial investigation. Hansen, one of the workers on administrative leave, resigned from employment during this period.

Benson returned to his position on January 8 after being assured that the investigation was concluding. He confirmed that the remaining four recommendations provided by the Lt. Gov.’s Office to address the election concerns would be addressed by February 29. Benson also invited the Lt. Gov.’s Office to review the upcoming elections in March, June, and November to ensure compliance.

The First District Court of Cache County has issued a summons for Hansen to appear in court for his felony charge, although a court date has yet to be set for his initial appearance.

Author: CrimeDoor

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