Press "Enter" to skip to content

Board of Elections to Allow Registered Partisans to Run as Independents

…and Krebs Still Scrubbing Gant Messes

Meetings, meetings—the Board of Elections meets again today! After meeting just last week Monday to approve several proposals for changes to election law, Secretary of State Shantel Krebs is rounding up the gang for some clean-up.

The only specific item on the agenda is to “Review draft of proposed amendment for SDCL 12-1-3(17).” As I noted in my weekend analysis of the Board’s seventeen legislative proposals, the Board last week proposed defining “independent” and “independent candidate” in our election statutes. Last Monday’s draft Proposal #6 defined “independent candidate” as “any registered voter who is not registered as a member of a recognized political party and who is a candidate for office.”

Secretary Krebs reviewed that wording and realized it didn’t reflect the intention of the Board. Today the Board will consider amending Proposal #6 to define “independent candidate” thus:

[N]otwithstanding the definition of independent as stated in this chapter, an independent candidate is any registered voter regardless of party affiliation who declares themselves to be an independent who is a candidate for public office [Draft Proposed Amendment for SDCL 12-1-3(17), South Dakota Board of Elections, posted 2015.10.27].

Last Monday’s definition would have required anyone running as an independent to change his or her voter registration to independent. Today’s proposed amendment would allow, for example, a Republican who misses the deadline for submitting a partisan nominating petition to turn right around and circulate an independent nominating petition without forswearing her party affiliation.

*     *    *

While the matter is not on today’s agenda, Secretary Krebs also explained Proposal #11, the Board’s move to repeal SDCL 12-18-41, which allows the Secretary of State to conduct a local election when the local election chief and governing board declare that an emergency exists and the election cannot be conducted. The Legislature passed that law at then-Secretary of State Jason Gant’s urging in 2011. Gant’s office used it once, to run McPherson County’s primary in June 2012 after its auditor died in May. Nonetheless, Secretary Krebs says SDCL 12-18-41 creates the possibility that her 15-person office could end up having to run several local elections at once, a task for which its people are not specifically trained, even as they are expected to oversee a statewide primary or general election. Secretary Krebs also notes that SDCL 12-18-41 lays out no criteria for local officials to justify declaring that they cannot conduct an election.

From Secretary Krebs’s explanation, one could conclude that former Secretary Gant’s proposal for state takeover of local elections was neither necessary nor wise. But unnecessary and unwise seems to describe Jason Gant’s entire legacy as Secretary of State. Left with such a mess, Secretary Krebs has been left with no choice but to work extra hard (like a second Board of Elections meeting in two weeks) to restore public trust.


  1. Rorschach 2015-10-28 08:21

    Gant couldn’t even get the 2013 Legislative Manual “Blue Book” – which comes out every odd-numbered year – published as required by state law and dumped that on Krebs to get published two years late in 2015. The book is largely unchanged from one publication to the next so a 2-year delay can only be explained by Gant’s malfeasance/nonfeasance. It’s just one thing after another with him, but we seem to be getting back to regular business in that office.

  2. Craig & Ronette Guymon 2015-10-28 10:34

    Unless SD SOS Krebs secures assistance from a professional cleaning and restoration service, she will still be trying to clean up after former SD SOS Gant when the 2018 Election rolls around. We tip our hats to Krebs for trying to clean up dishonorable stains Gant left on the SD SOS Office, but the recent 17 proposed legislative election measures are merely lip service dotting of “i’s” and crossing of “t’s” that fail to recommend needed election reforms with razor sharp teeth.

    The system of internal controls needs to be strengthened to the “Nth Degree” minimizing all potential election rigging risks in an attempt to guarantee that each vote cast by each resident of this state carries equal weight. The recently proposed seventeen election measures fail to do everything possible in attempting to protect the integrity of the election process and the validity of election results.

    On Oct 7, 2015 we sent a 9-Page letter by email to the attention of SD SOS Kreps outlining our June 5, 2012 thru Nov 4, 2014 South Dakota election issues. In addition, we addressed our following honorable election concerns:

    “… What follows are not a conservative, moderate or liberal partisan issues. What follows are simply right and wrong questions you unfortunately inherited from SD SOS Gant. We have never cast a ballot voting for all of one party’s promoted ballot measures and candidates. We have voted for GOP, DEM and IND candidates based on each candidate’s campaign platform and promises; and our perception of each candidate’s core values of integrity, honor, candor and courage. With that said, we ask the following question, ‘How has the SD Machine maintained and retained its power, control and influence over the past 40-years?’

    Are public elections being rigged? Are voter intimidation and/or hoodwinking tactics being used to discourage and suppress voter turnout? Are absentee ballots being cast on behalf of former residents who have moved to another state? Are absentee ballots being used by registered messengers to solicit votes from senior citizens who are residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities — during primary and local elections, but not during general elections when doing so is prohibited by statute? Are state and/or local officials influencing canvassing board decisions covering up election rigging acts? Are the votes printed onto test ballots used to check the accuracy of each county’s ballot scanner prior to each election being used to rig election outcomes? Are county auditors statewide being allowed to submit the data that is being printed onto test ballots? Are 70% of the county auditors in South Dakota registered as GOP voters? Are voters being duped by “Just Trust Us” we are all honest South Dakotans?

    Over the past four decades of one-party power and control over all three branches of South Dakota governance, have influential far-reaching tentacles become entangled around all aspects of state, county, city and public school district standard operating practices and procedures throughout the state? … With over 30-years combined military service and as lifetime South Dakotans, we hereby respectfully ask the South Dakota Secretary of State honor her oath office by continuing to secure the integrity of the election process and the validity of all election results by submitting a formal request to the South Dakota Attorney General asking that an investigation be conducted to determine whether local and/or state officials rigged or attempted to rig the 2012 Davison County primary election with local and/or state officials subsequently covering up the facts contained in the SD SOS 2012 Davison County Ballot Counting Task Force Report. The statute of limitations for doing so has not passed.”

    In our Oct 7, 2015 letter, we also requested Krebs provide us with a copy of Gant’s 2012 Davison County Ballot Counting Task Force Report (Executive Summary) that we had secured via a public mode search of the state website in June 2013. On Friday Oct 9, 2015 at 8:15 pm, Jason Williams, Office of the Secretary of State, sent us an email containing a “final copy” of the SD SOS 2012 Davison County Ballot Counting Task Force Report. We have not found the time yet to compare each line of the two versions of this task force report, but before spring arrives we will do so and share our comparative findings.

    With regards to are other above requests, we have not received a reply from the SD SOS Office. Our review of the seventeen election measures Krebs/Board of Elections will be submitting to the 2016 Legislative Session for review and consideration found none of these items to have any real teeth in addressing our election rigging concerns. If the SD SOS Office responds in any manner to our yet-to-be-answered requests, we will share the official replies with DFP readers.

    Have a wonderful day here in the “Land of Corruption and Cover Ups”.

  3. leslie 2015-10-28 10:54

    well after all, obama is still cleaning up after karl and george an dick.

  4. Rorschach 2015-10-28 11:25

    On topic: Someone working for Jason Gant stole – yes stole – the ORIGINAL state flag. Krebs started an investigation when she took over in January 2015, and the AG’s office recovered the flag from the former employee. For some reason, the AG isn’t saying who the employee is or what charges they are facing.

  5. mike from iowa 2015-10-28 12:25

    Have flags been known to commit suicide in state custody?

  6. mike from iowa 2015-10-28 12:26

    Does Gant get a pension or severance pay?

  7. Dave 2015-10-28 14:42

    South Dakotans’ tendency to vote for anyone with an “R” following his/her name is why we get idiots like Gant (who in turn hires idiots to work for him) in high office.

  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-10-29 08:20

    Craig, I’m interested in those reports. Do you have them in electronic format? If so, send me a copy; I’ll review them before spring.

Comments are closed.