“Residents” of the Buffalo Chip Campground get to vote Thursday at the campground business office on whether to turn the business into a legal municipality. Of course, since almost none of the campground’s “residents” are at Buffalo Chip, almost all of the votes are coming in absentee. In a report on Sturgis’s efforts to stop this vote, Deb Holland documents the extent of election fraud taking place:
A list of 32 people who already have cast their ballots for Thursday’s election through absentee voting shows that all report an address of 20603 132nd Ave., along with a lot number.
When entered into the Mapquest website, that location comes up in a field used for camping on the Buffalo Chip grounds.
“We believe no residential structures or residencies that meet the requirements (of state law) as a place of habitation exist at the address of 20603 132nd Ave., Sturgis, South Dakota,” [Sturgis city manage Daniel] Ainslie said [Deb Holland, “Sturgis’ Try at Stopping Buffalo Chip Incorporation Election Rebuffed Again,” Rapid City Journal, 2015.05.03].
Next week, at least 32 voters will ask Meade County to count as legitimate ballots cast by people all claiming the same empty lot as their permanent residence.
To see if we have before us 32 genuine cases of voter fraud, let us review South Dakota’s statute defining “voting residence“:
SDCL 12-1-4. Criteria for determining voting residence. For the purposes of this title, the term, residence, means the place in which a person has fixed his or her habitation and to which the person, whenever absent, intends to return.
A person who has left home and gone into another state or territory or county of this state for a temporary purpose only has not changed his or her residence.
A person is considered to have gained a residence in any county or municipality of this state in which the person actually lives, if the person has no present intention of leaving.
If a person moves to another state, or to any of the other territories, with the intention of making it his or her permanent home, the person thereby loses residence in this state.
One cannot be said to have “fixed his or her habitation” at 20603 132nd Ave. if one has not erected a fixed habitat at 20603 132nd Ave.
If the “residents” of 20603 132nd Ave. reside on that tract in strictly temporary and portable habitats, they clearly have an intention of leaving.
The absence of fixed, permanent habitations on the address given by 32 voters should give election judges Nyla Griffith, Greg Smith, and Carol Woodruff grounds for throwing out those fraudulent ballots. However, SDCL 12-18-10 appears to say that election judges can only reject ballots on the basis of identity, felony, or mental incompetence.
Overturning these fraudulent ballots may thus require an intervention by Counselor Schoenbeck. Yes, Lee Schoenbeck, District 5 Representative, who was ready to refuse to seat Burt Elliott if he had won the District 3 House election on the basis of the fact the Elliott claimed a basement apartment in Aberdeen as his permanent residence. Elliott at least claimed a spot where he had a place to hang his hat. Right now, these purported Buffalo Chip residents would have to throw their hats on the dry, dry ground. See also Heinemeyer v. Heartland, in which the South Dakota Supreme Court rejected Jeff Heinemeyer’s contention that the apartment he shared in town counted as a permanent residence when he spent most of his time at his house at Lake Madison. If apartment renters Elliott and Heinemeyer can’t pass muster as residents, how can RVers with no stake in South Dakota but a mailbox and a bare lot in a pasture?
The Buffalo Chip Campground appears to be pushing its municipal incorporation on blatantly fraudulent voter registration. The Buffalo Chip vote could provoke the City of Sturgis to finally press the issue of the validity of thousands of RVers’ voter registration in South Dakota.