Cache County election official accused of falsifying election documents makes first court appearance

Dustin Hansen, who has since left the Cache County clerk/auditor’s office, is accused of falsifying the date on a state document, according a felony charge.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) 1st District Court in Logan on Thursday, May 18, 2023.

Logan • After being charged with a felony earlier this year, a former Cache County election official walked into a Logan courtroom for his first legal appearance on Monday. He’s accused of falsifying a state election document during last year’s elections.

Dustin Hansen, 31, of Nibley, was charged on Feb. 16 with one count of willful neglect of duty/corrupt conduct by a poll worker, a third-degree felony.

In a blue shirt and dark tie, Hansen appeared in person before Judge Angela Fonnesbeck on Monday. He spoke once during the short hearing, responding “OK” after Fonnesbeck outlined the next steps in his case.

Hansen’s attorney, Jonathan Nish, said during the brief hearing he was not yet ready to set a preliminary hearing date. Hansen’s next court appearance was then scheduled for June 10.

After the hearing, Nish declined to comment on the case to The Salt Lake Tribune and Utah Public Radio.

Hansen is accused of forging the date on a test of the county’s voting machines, according to charging documents. Documentation of the test — which is required for every county clerk’s office in the state — was later sent to the Utah lieutenant governor’s office, which suspected the document had been forged.

In charging documents, prosecutors alleged Hansen altered the document using software on his computer.

Hansen resigned from his job as an elections coordinator with the Cache County clerk/auditor’s office days before he was charged.

The lieutenant governor’s office released a report on Feb. 13 outlining over 30 problems it found with how Cache County handled its 2023 elections. The allegedly altered document was one of the issues found in the report. The report is critical of then-Cache County Clerk/Auditor David Benson, who later resigned from his position in March.