Fraud Gets a Pass? | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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News » Hits & Misses

Fraud Gets a Pass?

The implications of parents filling out their missionary kids' ballots. Plus, how UTA figures to muck it up again.

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Fraud Gets a Pass?
Instead of that voter fraud straw man, let's talk about "the little woman" and maybe the ecclesiastical patriarchy. The Salt Lake Tribune broke the horrifying news that Mormon moms have been filling out their missionary kids' ballots—you know, forging their names. Shocking, indeed. Shane Marsh, a Fielding Town Council member, even had to warn his: "I don't think you better do that." We don't know if she did. Did the Trib actually speak to a woman other than county elections directors, one of whom might have called this an "innocent con?" And was it so innocent, really? Republicans have been all over the imaginary case of voter fraud, but Mormon moms get a pass when it's real. And Mormon dads apparently don't get caught.

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Apathy Among Us
So you're wondering why we call it "imaginary" voter fraud? Let's say it started with, or was fueled by, the president's claims that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 election. The Brennan Center for Justice has multiple studies that debunk that claim, and even the conservative Heritage Foundation can't make a great case for it. The foundations claims there were 1,199 proven instances of voter fraud. By the way, that's out of 113 million voters. In Utah, we're coddling those clueless Mormon moms, but even they can't push up voter fraud—unless they themselves are voting illegally. Nearly 300,000 Utah women are eligible to vote but unregistered, according to Voterise. So, the bigger problem is probably voter apathy. Trib columnist Robert Kirby, writing about missionaries voting, seemed to make a case for apathy: "I can't think of a better way to drive away hope for the world than by following politics that closely."

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A Job Poorly Done
Give him a plaque. That should be the public's message to the Utah Transit Authority, which just gave fired CEO and general manager Jerry Benson lifetime transit passes for him and his wife—along with a nice little severance package of $200,000. Wrap your head around this: Firing Benson was the only way to ensure he nabbed that severance. This didn't make House Majority Leader Mike Schultz, R-Hooper, very happy. He sponsored the 2018 law that restructured UTA, and figures this was a blatant manipulation of the law. And in what was called a positive report, a federal monitor warned of problems like "confusing powers given to the UTA Advisory Council of local government officials," according to the Trib. UTA officials are still spending like millionaires, and somehow avoid becoming a full state-run entity.