Utah Gov. Cox denounces voting misinformation during Politico summit in Washington

“Hopefully, we turn the tide against misinformation spread by any party,” Cox said.

(Laura Seitz | Deseret News/POOL) Gov. Spencer Cox speaks at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox on Friday defended Utah’s vote-by-mail system, deeming the choice between making it easier for Americans to vote and having a secure elections system a “false choice.”

“There’s this ... misconception that ... in order to have secure elections you have to make it harder for people to vote, and we believe that that’s a false choice. That’s a false dichotomy,” he continued. “We’ve been able to prove that over and over again by emphasizing election security and making sure that we’re putting into place parameters … and checks and balances that prevent bad things from happening, while also making it easier for those who are eligible to vote to vote.”

Cox made the remarks from Washington, D.C., during a virtual summit called The Fifty: America’s Governors, hosted by POLITICO. Since the 2020 U.S. presidential election, Cox and Lt. Gov Deidre Henderson have repeatedly denounced unfounded claims of election fraud.

“Every year we have run election security bills to improve and enhance our election security making sure that we are providing a safe and secure place to vote, where votes are only counted once,” the Republican governor said.

Cox’s viewpoint strays from some GOP-supported measures that have called for limiting voting by mail or early voting during elections. The first-term governor added Friday that he understands why others in different states have been concerned with their own vote-by-mail systems that were produced quickly, adding that Utah’s vote-by-mail system took about eight years to develop.

“Hopefully, we turn the tide against misinformation spread by any party. By speaking out, by having an opportunity to show people the right way for government to work and I feel like we’re doing that in Utah,” he continued.

Cox, who is anticipated to meet with President Joe Biden during his trip to Washington, D.C., said he has a good relationship with the Democratic president, but doesn’t believe he’s had much success during his presidency. A recent Gallup poll found Biden’s overall approval ratings sit at an all-time low 40% since the start of his presidency.

“I think it has to do with not listening and understanding to what the vast majority of the people in this country are going through and what their expectations were,” Cox said of the president. “There is no mandate in a 50/50 Senate to adopt the most radical and furthest left policies of social and economic but that’s exactly what the administration is attempting to do. I think it’s a huge mistake and I hope they’ll reconsider and that they will start to reach out to work on bipartisan issues where there is general agreement.”

Cox said he plans to talk to Biden about his proposals around clean energy and how Utah can get involved in those efforts.