The Lincoln County Commission meeting was packed with riled-up citizens yesterday. According to Nicole Ki’s live-tweeting, the commission room in Canton was filled to overflowing with resident debating approval approval of a big factory feedlot that would stink up a country church, pollute the water, and imperil the county’s booming growth. (Silliest comment of the discussion: Commissioner Joel Arends said that agriculture is—Ki’s words—”the essence of what Lincoln County” is. The only way in which this comment makes even the slimmest sense is that Lincoln County’s spectacular growth has come entirely from the corporate consolidation of agriculture driving kids to leave the farm for good city jobs in Sioux Falls.) The commission couldn’t come to a decision on the CAFO permit and tabled the permit.
Then came an even bigger stink, as Trumpists packed the room to protest county auditor Sheri Lund’s placement of a drop box for absentee ballots outside the courthouse. Ringleader of this protest was Jessica Pollema, who is running against Lund in the Republican primary for auditor and has frequently aired her concerns about”election transparency” at Lincoln County Commission meetings. Pollema is part of South Dakota Canvassing, a group promoting lies about election fraud in 2020. Pollema appears to have fellow Big Liars running for auditor in Minnehaha and Lincoln counties; a page on Minnehaha County auditor candidate Leah Anderson’s campaign website says Pollema, Anderson, and Yankton County auditor candidate Laura Kotalik are “working together to bring the issue of Election Integrity to the forefront,” which is code for, “We are Trumpists working to undo the 2020 election and restore Il Duce Donald to power!”
The “canvassing event” to which the webpage refers is likely another Big Lie session like the one held by quack-math teacher Douglas Frank and hosted by Senator Al Novstrup at his go-kart palace, a conspiracy-theory event that Anderson promoted on her campaign website.
Pollema, Anderson, and Kotalik are all primarying incumbent Republican auditors with no Democratic opposition. Democrats in all three of these counties, you need to immediately recruit qualified candidates to file as independents for these positions and provide a back-up plan to keeping these election stealers from taking power over your elections if it turns out your incumbent auditors can’t stop the madness themselves in the primary. If you can’t find independent candidates, you all need to follow the Woster plan and register Republican by May 23 so you can vote in the primary and keep these election thieves out.
Pollema herself doesn’t have a website yet—at least not one popping up on my early casual Googling—but she did appear three months ago in this hour-long interview with a guy named “RJ” who refers to his YouTubing as “The Rage”—yes, appropriate—to “discuss the serious issues facing South Dakota’s election integrity”…which is another fascinating bit of Trumpist projection: the only serious issue facing South Dakota’s election integrity is the prospect of hyper-partisans like Pollema taking over our election offices and throwing out legitimate ballots that aren’t cast for their preferred candidates. According to the YouTube transcript, Pollema says South Dakota Canvassing is working in coordination with a formal group in Minnesota. She touts Mike Lindell’s cyber-symposium debacle in Sioux Falls as proof that there was election fraud. She tells her video host that her group bought the voter file and found all sorts of cause for alarm, even though they admit the voter file they purchased last summer doesn’t really tell them who voted in November 2020 or whether any fraud actually happened. But as usual, conspiracy theorists aren’t going to let an absence of evidence stop them from preaching their wild gospel of lies to justify their crusades.
How Pollema and her rabble think a drop box for absentee ballots contributes to voter fraud remains a complete mystery, since Pollema and her fellow conspiracy theorists didn’t get to preach much at yesterday’s Lincoln County Commission meeting. Trumpist Commissioner Arends tried to give his fellow radicals a voice by saying the auditor is “usurping power” by placing a ballot drop box outside the courthouse, but Commissioner Tiffani Landeen, a registered Republican as is Arends, told him to stifle his “political partisanship”. Landeen maintained that the commission is responsible for canvassing the election, but the auditor has full authority for operating the election, including determining how, when, and where to collect ballots. Deputy state’s attorney Bill Golden added that ballot drop boxes are the auditor’s property. Landeen then told Trumpist interrupters in the audience that they’d have to leave because the agenda did not set a public hearing for the ballot box discussion, which led to angry profanity:
Residents are angrily storming out of the meeting, after being informed this wasn’t a public hearing and residents couldn’t speak after waiting 4 hours to. pic.twitter.com/wxdzOIngev
— Nicole Ki ʕ·ᴥ·ʔ (@_nicoleki) April 5, 2022
CAFOs stink, but destruction of fair elections stinks worse. Pay attention to Pollema and her co-conspirators, and, voters in Lincoln, Minnehaha, Yankton, and other counties, do everything you can to keep their ilk from polluting our election offices.
Update 2023.05.13: Right before the primary election, Leah Anderson touted her endorsement from election denier Douglas Frank, calling him “the mathematician that solved the algorithms that prove election fraud in every state!”