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Should Super Tuesday voters in Utah worry about coronavirus, election tampering?

Voter booths are pictured at the Salt Lake County Government Center in Salt Lake City on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019.
Voter booths are pictured at the Salt Lake County Government Center in Salt Lake City on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Utahns going to the polls on Super Tuesday have nothing to worry about regarding coronavirus, the top election official says.

And Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox also assured voters Monday that the state has taken the proper steps to secure the ballot from outside interference.

“Our goal is to minimize any disruption when it comes to elections or otherwise,” Cox said.

Utah’s vote-by-mail system is much better in an emergency where people might be quarantined throughout the state because voters would still be able to cast their ballots, he said. About 90% of residents have used the mail-in option.

Residents are also scheduled to gather in party caucus meetings later this month and at conventions in the spring. The state, he said, is talking with political parties about a plan B and what that would like were caucuses or conventions not able to he held.

As for cybersecurity, Cox said the state has worked with the Utah Department of Technology Services, Homeland Security, the FBI and county clerks to safeguard Tuesday’s presidential primary. The state received federal funding for increased monitoring tools and training for county elections officials.

The state’s paper-based voting machines are not connected to the “outside world” and ballots could be counted by hand if necessary, he said.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Visit vote.utah.gov for polling information or contact your local county clerk.