Incoming Secretary of State Monae Johnson is living up to her election-denier credentials. Her policy priorities include denying everyone efficiently and accurately counted ballots by pushing for statewide hand counts and bans on ballot tabulating machines:
…the campaign is over, and Johnson is thinking about the changes she hopes to make when she takes office next year.
Changes like an audit of every precinct in South Dakota and a state-level push to convince county auditors to hand-count all ballots. She’s also suggesting that lawmakers consider barring the use of tabulator machines altogether.
Election officials across the state – including the outgoing secretary of state and a county auditor who presided over the last fully hand-counted election nearly two decades ago – worry that such changes would complicate counting and render it less accurate.
“You’d never get an accurate count,” said Julie Pearson, the former Pennington County auditor that oversaw the transition from hand-counted ballots to tabulation. “Plus, the time. Our scanners, I think, run 200 ballots a minute” [Joshua Haiar, “Incoming Secretary of State Looks to Hand-Count Ballots, Audit Each Election,” South Dakota Searchlight, 2022.11.23].
But Johnson and her ilk don’t want more accurate elections. They want the exact opposite of their slogans. They want to undermine election integrity. They want to sow doubt about the reliability of vote counts so they can justify voter suppression, Legislative rejection of election results, and, if necessary, violent insurrection to block the will of an electorate whose demographics are tilting inevitably against them. The only way Johnson’s dwindling white apartheidist theocratic faction can maintain power in a democracy is to thwart democracy.