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Barnett Can’t Spell Yracheta, Goofs Biden Elector’s Name on Ballot

Conducting elections requires keen attention to detail. Alas, Secretary of State Steve Barnett’s first general election ballot shows a lack of attention with a misspelling of a Presidential elector’s name:

Joe Yracheta of Selby, an elector for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, is forgiving but isn’t forgetting that his last name is misprinted as Yarcheta on South Dakota’s general-election ballots.

…Yracheta said Monday he believed the misspelling of his last name was “an innocent error.” He said the name is Basque, while he is of Mexican descent and identifies as a Native American.

“My name is a difficult one, but that’s no excuse….if we have to say and spell Schwarzenegger, Scaramucci, Sevigny or Buttigieg then they can get my name correct,” he said [Bob Mercer, “S.D. Ballots Bear Misspelling of a Biden Elector,” KELO-TV, 2020.09.29].

Secretary of State Shantel Krebs certainly didn’t make that mistake when Yracheta ran for Legislature two years ago:

He ran as a Democratic candidate in 2018 for the District 23 state Senate seat and lost to Republican incumbent Justin Cronin of Gettysburg. Yracheta’s name was spelled correctly on ballots for that election and on campaign documents he filed.

What happened this time? “That was an error on our part with the spelling of his last name,” state director of elections Kea Warne said [Mercer, 2020.09.29].

The misspelling should not disqualify Yracheta from serving as an elector. The dogged determination of a majority of South Dakotans to vote for a billionaire blowhard with no concern for their well-being will ensure that Yracheta casts no vote on December 14 in Pierre, thus mooting the question of whether a vote for “Yarcheta” excludes Yracheta from electorship. But even if South Dakota voters went bonkers (which, in Bizarro-Trumpistan, means came to their senses and elected a real man to be President) and Republicans appealed to the Trump Supreme Court to block a Democratic South Dakota elector from casting a vote, the misspelling likely wouldn’t stop Yracheta from serving his one-day, one-vote duty. The Secretary of State has acknowledged that Yracheta is the person to whom the ballot refers. There is no “Yarcheta” with whom the very real Mr. Yracheta may be confused. Even if the Trump court went full kangaroo, even if Governor Kristi Noem barricaded the highways to keep Joe from getting to the Capitol, SDCL 12-24-2 allows the remaining electors to pick a replacement and do their Constitutional business.

One Comment

  1. Debbo 2020-09-30

    As a person with a long and unusual last name, I sympathize with Mr. Yracheta.

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