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Pandemic Threat Gone; So Are Minnehaha, Lincoln County Outdoor Ballot Drop Boxes

The angry Trumpist conspiracy theorists have won a small victory, getting the Minnehaha and Lincoln County auditors to remove the absentee ballot dropboxes from the fronts of their courthouses in Sioux Falls and Canton.

This removal is perhaps no big deal, as they were implemented in 2020 as a way to minimize the chances of spreading coronavirus, and as we all know, the pandemic is completely over:

Both offices announced through press releases Friday the policy is effective starting next Wednesday, and won’t be used for the remaining 2022 elections.

Lincoln County auditor Sheri Lund said Friday her office decided to stop using the drop box, located inside the sheriff’s office, because the county is currently “not in the restraints of the pandemic.”

…Minnehaha County will stop using their ballot drop box for similar reasons. The county’s auditor Ben Kyte said his office has been using drop boxes for municipal elections.

His office sees more people in Minnehaha County willing to come vote in-person, and he says discontinuing the use after the upcoming election will assist in saving more resources for other elections [Nicole Ki, “Minnehaha, Lincoln Counties Halt Use of Ballot Drop Boxes Ahead of June Primary,” Sioux Falls Argus Leader, 2022.04.08].

Trumpist Lincoln County Commissioner Joel Arends is on Twitter celebrating the removal of his county’s “illegal, unconstitutional” ballot drop box and exhorting his fellow cultists to fight these menaces across the state, but there is no provision of the South Dakota Constitution or South Dakota absentee-voting law that prohibits county auditors from installing dropboxes to receive absentee ballots. Nor have Arends and his Trumpnuts shown how these boxes pose any threat to the integrity of our elections. The dropboxes certainly didn’t create any trouble in the 2020 election, Auditor Lund told Tuesday’s Lincoln County Commission meeting:

Thousands of people took advantage of the drop box, she said.

“There was no fraudulent activity proven to be had,” Lund said at the Tuesday meeting [Ki, 2022.04.08].

But Arends and his apartheid cult don’t want to hear facts and empirical evidence; they just want something to holler about to promote their nationwide push to reduce voter turnout. Expect them to shift, as their ilk is wont to do, to some other baseless conspiracy theory as the basis for their angry assault on democracy.


  1. Richard Schriever 2022-04-09 08:57

    FWIW – the Lincoln County drop box at the courthouse was not in the sheriff’s office. It was outdoors on the sidewalk leading to the courthouse entrance and was under 24-hour video surveillance by the sheriff’s office and during the day was directly observable by the deputy on duty at the courthouse door. Lincoln County will continue to have a drop box in Sioux Falls available with a live deputy in place to accept ballots.

  2. Donald Pay 2022-04-09 09:12

    The drop boxes were a life saver during the worst of the pandemic, but now it’s back to government behaving as government does: ignoring the convenience of its customers and putting hurdles in the way of democracy. In Wisconsin, our great Governor just vetoed a slew of Republican bills attempting to monkeywrench democracy. You can tell by the actions of politicians which ones would support a Putin-style election system: Republicans. Funny, they used to whine that government needed to run more like a business. Well, FedEx and many other businesses use drop boxes.

    Richard points out the secure placement of the drop boxes in Lincoln County, SD. Same for the drop boxes in Wisconsin. They were all placed at police precinct stations or firehouses, and monitored 24-hours by cameras.

  3. larry kurtz 2022-04-09 09:48

    That Republicans are frightened of participatory democracy is good trouble. Mensches like Rabbi Arends simply underscore the danger white nationalists pose to a peaceful transfer of power.

  4. RST Tribal Member 2022-04-09 14:33

    Gee, the inept inbred republicans are wanting for an effigy to worship. If only they were true Christians and not fake followers of clowns or fools as Isaiah 58 states, “the prophet talks about true and false worship. At the heart of false worship is that it is all about us, all about what God can do for us, a warm feeling of self-satisfaction”. Lots of warm feelings with the R by their name.

    Back in the day, when superman and batman were the idols of the inept inbred republicans, democracy in SD was more balanced. Today, the clown show of governance keeps adding bit players like the sauna queen in the 1 house gated community in Pierre. Or, the Lincoln Commissioner who wants to wipe 45’s shoes or kiss his unze. Or, the SD AG demanding power over the police creating out-of-control non-police powers without constraints that led to the death of an innocent. An innocent. Just walking on the side of the road. Now buried and mourned by his family and not enough good people in the state.

    The SD and US Constitutions are flawed documents that are usable only when persons are honorable, law-abiding, or ethically decent. Maybe Heinert made the sensible decision to work with buffalo who might have more common sense they many, most, all inept inbred republicans. Every time an inept person steps out of line around buffalo, they get tossed into a tree or have their pants ripped off. As long as there are trees in the park and pants on people, the lessons to be taught by buffalo to fools will continue to go on.

    Voting will be challenging in the coming years, as the foundational one person, one vote concept that built democracy is being pulled apart with restrictions or barriers placed between a person and casting his/her voting ballot. Voting is on the pathway towards restrictions; be it by location, identification, proving eligibility, the color of skin, education, station in life, or affiliations of party or beliefs.

    November 2022 could be the wave change sought and needed. Let the sparrow fly.

  5. Mark Anderson 2022-04-09 16:27

    It’s always fun to read the funnies…. Joel Arends is incompetent, irrelevant and immaterial.

  6. grudznick 2022-04-09 19:04

    It is indeed good that, as Mr. Pay pointed out so rightly, that the pandemic is over, covid has been crushed, and now people need to match their arses to the polling places like the good old days.

  7. Donald Pay 2022-04-09 21:09

    Grudz, it ain’t over. Cases are going back up in Wisconsin and elsewhere, though it appears the new variant isn’t quite as dangerous. Also, we have more people vaccinated. I’m going to get my 2nd booster when my health cooperative opens the window. The next election date in Wisconsin is in August right around the time of the Rally in SD. The rally tends to spread things nationwide, so by the November election we could be in the same position as we were in November 2020.

  8. cibvet 2022-04-10 01:23

    The “good old days” are nothing but daily fantasies by old white men as they sit around
    sipping their whisky and smoking their cigars. Most all have ‘bootstrap stories” about how hard they worked,
    but the reality is they received their inheritance from their parents or grandparents.
    Fondly remembered good old days were outhouses, 12 hour days ,6 days a week, no running water, women
    couldn’t vote, girls married at 16 or younger,slavery, all this sounds like Taliban country but it was America and to even mention
    it in a classroom would be CRT and get you blackballed as a teacher.

  9. Dave Baumeister 2022-04-10 02:48

    I really don’t think there is a need for the outdoor drop boxes, at least not at this time in South Dakota. There is no big conspiracy, as some of the SD Canvassing Group whack jobs would have us believe, but there just isn’t a need. Two years ago, Steve Barnett sent out applications for mail-in ballots to everyone, and people took advantage of that during the height of the pandemic. Still, there actually were “drop boxes” all over town called “mailboxes,” but people were afraid of using the mail for ballots. As in prior elections, when people vote absentee, they are most likely doing it again in person, at least, I have seen large groups doing this at the Minnehaha Admin Building, so the ballots are taken at the time they vote. And since there is no longer anything to drop, there is no need for any outside drop boxes. I haven’t asked about the numbers, but I would believe if the boxes were still seeing lots of use, the auditors would keep them. Remember, people getting absentee ballots in the mail can still send them back in the mail. But on a different note, I do agree with previous posts that “Joel Arends is incompetent, irrelevant and immaterial.” I had to listen to his tirade during the last Lincoln County Commission meeting. Remember him when we just knew him as the slimy attorney for Team Haber/Bosworth? From dealings I had with him then, I believe he knew exactly who he was in bed with.

  10. larry kurtz 2022-04-10 09:13

    Six counties – all with Republican clerks and majority Republican voters – chose not to provide any drop boxes this election: Chaves, Curry, De Baca, Eddy, Lea and San Juan counties. While 15 counties are falling short, nine chose to provide more than the minimum required number of ballot drop boxes based on their voter populations this election, with Santa Fe providing four extra. The others are Taos, Doña Ana, Luna, McKinley, Otero, Roosevelt, Sandoval and Valencia counties.

  11. grudznick 2022-04-10 10:14

    The Teachers Union doesn’t allow for blackballing, Mr. cibvet. Not even the teachers on the lowest levels of the SILT can be ousted.

  12. Jackilope 2022-04-10 10:36

    One has to wonder what inner child wound Grudz is harboring where his perpetual “bad teacher” / anti union whine pops up — this time in a topic dealing with voting boxes.

    Were you denied lead in a play? Wasn’t placed on starting line up? Caught cheating or plagiarizing but deep down felt that good ol’ GOP entitlement even back as a formative wee one? Sitting in the back of class blurting out smart-alec irrelevant commentary to content trying to get a teacher’s goat — (like you do daily now with other participants in discussions) and got sent to office finally?

    Find a “good” therapist and get that sorted out. Your “good” one will enable and assure you how perfect you are and your “bad” one will try to make you reflect and see a bigger picture and your actions or responsibility in your gripe / issue.

  13. mike from iowa 2022-04-10 12:22

    Grudzilla has a “Heidi” complex, hence the constant mentions of fictitious goats.

  14. mike from iowa 2022-04-10 12:27

    CRT is just another magat over legislated nuke job for a program that exists entirely in magat pea brains. Name me one public school that is or has taught CRT, that is if you magats even know what CRT is and does.

  15. cibvet 2022-04-10 12:50

    MFI, you are correct that CRT is nothing more than a repub buzzword that causes their panties to twist in a knot just as the word ballot drop box. They use them unless they have a camera crew with them taking a picture of them voting and then willfully regurgitate fox tv platitudes of stuffing the boxes while the county clerks sit idly by with no checks and balances. Lacking intelligence for them selves, they insult everyone else’s.

  16. mike from iowa 2022-04-10 14:17

    cibvet, you are correct about magats insulting everyone’s intelligence.

  17. leslie 2022-04-11 07:53

    Grdz the constant right wing disinformationist at work here every day w/Cory’s blessing. A liar to keep things spicy, eh? The Putin puppet, the Trump trumpeter.

    “Republicans have spent the years since Roe working every angle: taking over state legislatures, building a pipeline of anti-abortion judges who have risen to the highest courts in the country, gerrymandering districts and disenfranchising Democratic voters and ensuring that presidents elected by a minority of Americans have now appointed the majority of Supreme Court justices.

    All this — this willingness to break and twist every rule, to proudly capitalize on the diabolical inequalities built into our system — has been done in the same years that Democrats have repeatedly chosen not to make abortion access a centerpiece of their campaigns or their rhetoric. They have behaved as if Roe were sufficient (when it was not) and that it would not really fall (when it will) and that even if it might, the right to full reproductive medical care was too icky and dangerous to get really close to, let alone embrace as a morally compelling fulcrum of their work.” Amanda Litman

    folks specifically responsible for implementing all those laws are a hodgepodge of positions – city/county clerks, judges, tax assessors, election officers, etc. Some are elected, some are appointed by people who are elected. /7

    Over 2022+2023, thousands of these positions are on the ballot across nearly two thirds of the country.
    & partners are mapping it out & recruiting folks to run. /8

  18. leslie 2022-04-11 08:42

    “What the GOP did to erode access to abortion is the same thing they’re doing on voting rights: A methodical 360-degree assault over decades.”

    Fighting Republican subterfuge is constant. It is a dead party filled w/liars.

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