‘The Rundown’: Election audit confusion in Utah County

One county official claims her words are being twisted by those who think the 2020 election was fraudulent

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Confusion over election audits in Utah County

A misunderstanding over election audits could result in disappointment during today’s Utah County Commission meeting.

This post is circulating on several pro-audit right-wing Telegram groups focused on the “big lie” that the 2020 election was fraudulent.

The problem? County Commissioner Amelia Powers Gardner claims she never made that offer and her words are being twisted.

“Nothing I said had anything to do with an audit,” Gardner said during a telephone conversation on Tuesday.

She said a resident had asked her to support an audit of the election but her answer was twisted into something different.

“I said an audit would cost $9 million, which would require a tax increase. If I voted to raise taxes, I said I’d have 2,000 people show up at a meeting to yell at me,” Powers explained.

“Plus, we already did an audit of the election as required by state law,” she added.

It would be strange indeed if Powers were to support an audit of the election since she was the County Clerk who oversaw voting in 2020. She adds she does not believe unfounded claims of a fraudulent election pushed by some on the political right.

“I have full confidence in the election integrity of Utah and full confidence in the results,” Powers said.

This should all come as a surprise to those online users planning on packing the meeting later this afternoon.

Here’s what you need to know for Wednesday morning

🚨 The House passed a stopgap bill to avoid a government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling. But, the bill has little chance of passing the Senate. [AP]

  • A default by the government would cost 6 million jobs and wipe out $15 trillion in wealth. [WaPo]

👀 An internal memo shows the Trump campaign knew claims about fraud during the 2020 election and wild theories about voting machines switching votes were not true, but they kept pushing the falsehoods anyway. [NYT]

🚨 The House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection could issue subpoenas for top Trump White House aides as early as this week. [Guardian]

🏛 Social media companies promised to meet with Utah lawmakers about proposed regulations on moderating content on their platforms. When that didn’t happen, lawmakers used the threat of higher taxes to get their attention. [Tribune]

🦠 Health care providers are bracing for a brutal winter when the flu season could make the COVID-19 pandemic worse. [CNN]

⚖️ Former President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit against his niece and the New York Times for $100 million, claiming they had “an insidious plot” to obtain his private tax records. [Daily Beast]

✈️ The Justice Department filed a lawsuit to block a partnership between American Airlines and Jet Blue, claiming the alliance will lead to higher fares and reduced competition. [AP]

💻 Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg personally signed off on a program to artificially boost pro-Facebook stories on the newsfeeds of millions of users to improve the company’s profile. Some executives were “shocked” by the proposal when it was put forward earlier this year. [NYT]

Wednesday morning’s Utah news roundup


  • What Utah police can do to reduce the times they shoot at minorities. [Tribune]

  • ‘Larger-than-life’ Utah conservationist is missing in Yellowstone. [Tribune]

  • Body found near Grand Teton was that of Gabby Petito, Wyoming coroner confirms. [Tribune]

  • Utah senate majority leader sees no problem filling Ivermectin prescriptions, but is it safe for COVID-19? [St. George News]

  • Memorial grows outside Ogden business from Petito’s final Instagram post. [Fox 13]

  • This Utah school district has banned LGBTQ pride and Black Lives Matter flags, saying they are ‘politically charged.’ [Tribune]

  • SLC 5-year-old ‘saved’ by piggyback ride from sister when SUV slams into them. [Fox 13]


  • Utah sees largest single-day increase in COVID-19 deaths since January. [Tribune]

  • Kids and COVID-19: What we don’t know, can hurt us, warn childhood polio survivors. [Tribune]


  • The Bureau of Land Management returns to D.C. What Utah Gov. Spencer Cox has to say about it. [Deseret News]

  • Romney says he’ll support Flake’s nomination to be ambassador to Turkey. [Deseret News]


  • Paul Gibbs: Take no joy in the misery of the unvaccinated. [Tribune]

  • Opinion: Debt ceiling is the wrong place to fight for fiscal responsibility. [Deseret News]

— The Tribune’s Jordan Miller contributed to this report.