In the wake of a highly critical report from state officials about Cache County’s handling of the 2023 municipal election, a former county poll worker is now facing a felony charge.

CACHE COUNTY – After revelations of election irregularities during the Nov. 21 municipal election in Cache County, a county employee has been dismissed and is now facing a felony charge.

On Feb. 16, Dustin Hansen was charged by prosecutors from Cache County Attorney’s Office and is scheduled for arraignment in District Court on Apr. 1.

In a Feb. 16 summary of his side of the two-month state investigation by the office of Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson, Cache County Clerk/Auditor David Benson confirmed that Hansen had resigned his county post effective Feb. 13, after being placed on administrative leave in early December.

In his former role as an election coordinator for Cache County, Hansen is alleged to have falsified the results of a legally required logic and accuracy test of voting tabulation equipment prior to the Nov. 21 municipal election.

He is charged with one count of willful neglect of duty and corrupt conduct by a poll worker, a third-degree felony.

According to the charging documents, Hansen was responsible for delivering a document verifying the function of the county’s ballot tabulating machines prior to the election.

State officials explained that document – called a logic and accuracy test – ensures that all tabulation equipment is functioning properly and that mail-in ballots are being counted correctly.

When the election officials in Henderson’s office reviewed that document, they suspected it had been altered to reflect a different completion date.

In addition to finding evidence of that falsified document, the state investigation also revealed 31 separate issues with Cache County’s handling of the 2023 municipal elections.

In a letter prefacing the state’s report, Henderson admonished Benson for numerous leadership failings, including falling short of statutory obligations and failure to adhere to practices to guard against fraud and election manipulation.

State investigators found, however, no evidence of fraud or anything to indicate that the original election results or subsequent recounts were improperly certified.

The state’s investigation of local election irregularities has been underway since shortly after the statewide municipal election was held on Nov. 21, 2023.

In early December, prior to an unrelated recount of ballots in the cities of Logan and Hyrum, officials from Henderson’s office notified Cache County of their concerns about the county officials’ handling of election processes.

In response to those issues, Benson placed two of his employees – Hansen and Robert Edwards – on administrative leave. To ensure a completely impartial investigation, Benson also voluntarily placed himself on leave.

In early January, Benson and Edwards were cleared by county officials to return to work, while Hansen remained on leave until his resignation on Feb. 13.

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