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Board of Elections to Adopt Forms Protecting Voter Addresses from Stalkers, Review Election Machinery

The South Dakota Board of Elections meets on Monday with little apparent nefarious intent. Among the agenda items, the board will make rule changes to create forms for the new “secured active designation” for voter registration. This secure active designation was created by this year’s Senate Bill 102, Senator Lee Schoenbeck’s (R-5/Watertown) pretty good idea to follow most other states in allowing victims of domestic abuse or stalking and other citizens with good reason to keep their personal information secret to register to vote without placing their information in the public voter database.

The other rule change on Monday’s agenda puts into rule this year’s Senate Bill 145, which tinkered with the rules for filling vacancies among party nominees. Previously, if a candidate for Legislature died or bailed between the primary and the deadline for naming candidates in August, a party’s replacement had to be certified by the party chair of each county touched by the district. If the district touched only one county, only that county’s party chair signed the certificate of nomination sent to the Secretary of State. If a district touched multiple counties (that’s 20 of the 35), the chair of every affected district had to sign the certificate. Per SB 145, the Board of Elections plans to change that rule to charge the state party central committee chairperson or someone designated by that chair to certify replacement nominees for multi-county Legislative districts.

The Board of Elections will also review the Secretary of State’s testing of ballot-counting equipment. Secretary Steve Barnett and his team tested our Election Systems and Software machines and programs July 26–28 and found they all appear to work. In election-mechanics trivia, we apparently have at least three vote-tabulating machines, each of which operate at distinctly different speeds:

  • The DS200 Central Digital Tabulator, version, used by Aurora, Bon Homme, Buffalo, Butte, Campbell, Clark, Corson, Day, Dewey, Douglas, Edmunds, Faulk, Gregory, Haakon, Hand, Hanson, Harding, Hyde, Jerauld, Kingsbury, McPherson, Mellette, Perkins, Sanborn, Stanley, Sully, Walworth & Ziebach counties in 2020, has to be fed ballots one at a time and can tabulate 11 ballots per minute.
  • The DS450 Central Count Tabulator, version, used in Clay, Lyman, Marshall, Miner, Roberts, Spink, Turner, Tripp/Todd, Union and Yankton counties in 2020, can slurp and scan 72 ballots per minute.
  • The DS850 Central Count Tabulator, version, used in Beadle, Brookings, Brown, Codington, Davison, Lincoln, Meade, Minnehaha and Pennington counties in 2020, can tabulate 300 ballots per minute.

According to our latest Census data, Lawrence and Yankton counties have larger populations than Davison and Beadle; they might want to consider upgrading to the DS850.

The Board of Elections gets to work Monday morning at 10 a.m. Central. The agenda indicates they’ll convene at the SD Association of County Officials office at 211 East Prospect in Pierre; interested parties may also call in to the conference line 866.410.8397, code 2178377981.


  1. John Dale 2021-08-21 07:32

    “keep their personal information secret”

    Fundamentally, this breaks our democracy?

    We have a mechanism for this through name change?

    We must develop other ways of keeping victims of stalking safe.

    For instance, everybody is being stalked by FaceBook’s market for information.

    “But John, I changed my name in FaceBook, it’s not real!”

    Oh, they dereference and unmask you.

    Why are children allowed to have smart phones and use FaceBook?

    Mr. Schoenbeck has put forth two really bad ideas in a row in my opinion.

    “But John, why do you hate puppies and victims of stalking?!”

    No .. in a democracy, you come out and vote. Put your face in the sun.

    It might be a reasonable idea to get rid of voter registration and piggy back the South Dakota ID as an automatic voter registration. Just add one field to the database?

    Do the victims also have South Dakota issued IDs?

    Are you seeing this?


    Not having public voter roles invites abuse.

  2. Mark Anderson 2021-08-21 17:32

    You know John, my friend, a painter named Hugh Davies doesn’t have a phone and hardly uses his computer. He’s harder than heck to get a hold of but he’s totally free. There’s always a real alternative. He shoots pool well too, those English grow up with snooker. I still usually beat him but it’s much more fun playing him. Soon we will play snooker again.

  3. Arlo Blundt 2021-08-21 18:37

    Well..John Dale, as usual, you’re waving a false flag…violation of voting laws is almost unknown in South Dakota. I can’t remember the last person prosecuted….nationally, Senator Lindsey Graham pointed out on the Senate floor that he could find no evidence for the voter fraud alleged by Trump…maybe 3 or 4 cases nation wide not the 40,000 here and 10,000 there that Trump alleged.Frankly, there is just no motivation for a person to “cheat” at the polls when an election involves thousands if not millions of voters. You are hearing voices again.

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