You know how those election deniers are all clamoring for hand counts to ensure “election integrity“? Tripp County, where their baseless agitations led to a hand count of all ballots last week, has added to the overwhelming empirical evidence that the election deniers would actually harm election integrity. Tripp County’s hand count produced a big discrepancy, and the machine count found the human error:
The case of Tripp County’s 75 “missing” ballots has been solved, County Auditor Barb Desersa said this week.
…Desersa ran the audit to prove to her county commissioners and residents that the machine was accurate.
The mismatched numbers prove the point, Desersa said Monday.
Each ballot handed out on Election Day is identified by precinct, she said, with the precinct name printed on the bottom of each ballot. Somehow staff placed 100 ballots labeled for another precinct in the Colome-labeled ballot box ahead of the election. Those ballots were then used and voted on during Election Day in Colome.
While the poll books and hand counts were accurate with the number of ballots for that precinct, the tabulator recognized that 75 of the ballots from the Colome precinct were originally labeled for another precinct, Clearfield.
Days after the election, those 75 ballots were found tallied in the tabulator’s history for the Clearfield precinct, rather than for Colome, even though they recorded Colome votes.
“Nobody noticed they were (labeled as) Clearfield ballots instead of Colome all day,” Desersa said. “They’re written on the bottom. But it shows the machine is more accurate because it knew to put those Clearfield ballots into the precinct. It read it as ‘those don’t belong there.’ It was human error.”
…“The machine caught it,” Desersa said. “To me, that shows that the machine is more accurate than humans” [Makenzie Huber, “Tabulator Catches Human Error in Tripp County Post-Election Audit,” South Dakota Searchlight, 2022.11.15].
South Dakota was one of a few states that elected an election denier to run elections. We can only hope that the Legislature will review the results from Tripp County and other empirical data and check Secretary of State-Elect Monae Johnson’s impulses to enact the radical election-wrecking ideas of her extremist election-denier base.