Ex-Utah County Clerk Charged with Felonies in Connection to Mishandled Election Ballots

Former Utah county clerk Alaina Lofgran now finds herself in a serious legal predicament, as she faces a total of three felony charges, along with additional counts, following accusations of mishandling and destroying election ballots from both the 2020 and 2022 elections. Lofgran, who held the role of Juab County Clerk/Auditor from 2015 until recently, stands accused of shredding ballots shortly after the 2022 election, in clear violation of the legal requirement to retain such ballots for at least 22 months to support potential recounts.

Furthermore, the allegations also encompass the improper storage of the 2020 election ballots. Lofgran is reported to have stored these ballots in a basement storage area that was easily accessible to various county employees and plainly visible. This method of storage directly contradicts state law, which mandates that ballots be securely locked away.

“These charges are serious and reflect the heavy responsibility of county clerks to uphold election law. Public trust demands accountability of those who swear oaths to fulfill their duties with fidelity and then fail to do so,” Republican Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson said.

A witness has come forward, claiming to have seen Lofgran placing the 2022 ballots in a “shred bin” in a closet near the clerk’s office soon after the election. Despite the need to retain these ballots for recounts, Lofgran allegedly returned them to the shred bin later. “The election reports were done, and we don’t need them anymore,” Lofgran allegedly said.

The charges brought against Lofgran stem from a lawsuit initiated in 2022, which aimed to obtain records from the 2020 election. During this lawsuit, a state judge had explicitly directed Lofgran to safeguard the records related to the 2020 election. Nevertheless, a subsequent investigation unveiled that, during a search of county offices and the aforementioned basement room, none of the 4,795 ballots from the 2022 general election and only a portion of the 5,932 ballots from the 2020 general election could be located.

Lofgran now confronts a series of charges, including felonies such as willful neglect of duty, destruction or concealment of ballots, and destruction of public records. Additionally, she has been charged with two counts of improper ballot handling and two counts of unofficial misconduct, which are classified as misdemeanors.