SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Lt. Governor Spencer Cox criticized President-elect Donald Trump’s claim that millions of people voted illegally, robbing him of the popular vote.
Speaking to reporters after the Utah Board of Canvassers certified the results of the 2016 election, Cox said he was confident in the state’s voting system. Trump posted on Twitter over the weekend that he would have won the popular vote (which Clinton did) but millions of people voted illegally.
“It’s unfortunate those are being brought up without any evidence, completely unsubstantiated,” Cox said of Trump’s comments. “It does erode confidence in what is the bedrock foundation of the democratic republic of our country. I feel it’s dangerous. I hope we can tone down that rhetoric moving forward.”
With the election finalized on Monday, Trump won Utah’s six electoral votes, capturing 45.5% (or 515,231) of votes to Hillary Clinton’s 27.5% (310,676 votes). Independent candidate Evan McMullin finished third with 21.5% of the vote (243,690 votes).
In total, the Lt. Governor’s Office said there were 1,152,369 ballots cast in Utah in the 2016 election. Among active, registered voters that is 82% voter turnout. Kane County had the largest voter turnout with 92.65%, followed by Grand County (91.32%), Sevier County (90.21%) and Uintah County (89.94%).
“There were a lot of folks who had strong feelings one way or the other in this election. I think when folks are agitated that motivates them to get out,” State Auditor John Dougall, a member of the board of canvassers, told FOX 13.
The finalized results showed Republicans continued to dominate local politics with Governor Gary Herbert capturing 66.7% of the vote to his Democratic challenger, Mike Weinholtz’s 28.7%. (Libertarian Brian Kamerath finished third followed by independent “SuperDell” Schanze, who used the voter information guide to threaten “God’s judgment” if people didn’t vote for him.)
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes won re-election, but his Democratic challenger — who dropped out the day of their only debate — still managed to capture 25% of the vote.