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Election Fixing Charges Fly in Utah Town

Monday, November 06, 2006

SALT LAKE CITY —  Folks love voting in Daggett County. Even when they may not live there.

Daggett County registered 947 voters for Tuesday's election _ four more than the county's population in 2005, according to the most recent Census figures.

Now, Attorney General Mark Shurtleff's office is looking into complaints of vote-stuffing in the county, spokesman Paul Murphy said.

Democrats suspect County Clerk Vickie McKee is letting outsiders swell the Daggett County registration rolls to give Republicans an advantage. They say the father of the deputy running against Democratic Sheriff Allen Campbell has 14 adults registered at his household.

The Republican deputy, Rick Ellsworth, told KSL-TV that his father's address is being used by family members who own property in the county but don't have their own address.

Daggett County, which borders Wyoming and Colorado, is home of Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area and is a vacation spot where many people have second homes. The 2004 Census counted 1,145 housing units.

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Voters with multiple homes are supposed to pick only one residence for voting purposes, swearing to it on an affidavit, officials said. McKee told KSL-TV she had been asking voters to file property-tax papers showing their primary residence was in the county. But proof of residency isn't required under Utah law, state elections chief Michael Cragun said, so she can't do that.

McKee didn't return messages Friday or Monday from The Associated Press. Sheriff Allen Campbell didn't return a message Monday. A woman who answered a phone listed in Ellsworth's name said Monday he was at a doctor's appointment, then hung up before the AP could leave a message.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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