Secretary of State Shantel Krebs has plenty of mess to clean up from her predecessor’s poor performance. The Lucy Burns Institute studied the accessibility of state election agencies in 2014 and found former Secretary Jason Gant’s office performing below the national average.
Specifically reviewed were the number of clicks required to access election information on the Secretary of State’s website, the quality of the information presented, and response time to e-mail inquiries. LBI found…
- The South Dakota election calendar, campaign finance guide, campaign finance reporting schedule, and petition signature requirements were buried four links deep. (This morning, I find I am able to reach the three former items in two clicks and the latter in three clicks, although the information is incomplete due to pending changes.) For all agencies tested, the average click-depth was less than three.
- Secretary Gant’s office did get full credit for the quality of information, specifically for making petition signature requirements clear. (Remarkably, 14 states still don’t put that information online.)
- Secretary Gant failed to respond (imagine that!) to LBI’s e-mail inquiry, earning South Dakota zero points in responsiveness. The average response time was between two and three days.
South Dakota’s net score on LBI’s 31-point scale was 15. Vermont topped the nation with a score of 30. The nationwide average was 20.2. We still beat ten other states (the lowest scorers: Louisiana, Alabama, and Alaska) but none of our neighbors (Wyoming and Montant both scored 25; Minnesota scored 23).
Secretary Krebs, put the LBI report on your desk, and make you boost those scores before the 2016 primary season.