Ballot mix-up sparks voter frustration, Minnehaha County judge orders ballots not sealed


SIOUX FALLS, SD (Dakota News Now) – While most of the election went smoothly yesterday, there were some issues, and some wonder if the redistricting is confusing for both election workers and officials. voters.

The road to democracy can be strewn with pitfalls.

“I smoke crazy,” said Valley Springs voter Arnold Erickson.

He said his ballot didn’t look right.

“The person I wanted to vote for was not on it,” Erickson said.

Carol Kooi was at the same polling place and questioned her ballot.

“And I said, Well, I don’t think that’s fair. And she said, Well, we’re recut and that’s okay. And so we voted,” Kooi said.

That’s when candidate John Sjaarda’s phone started ringing.

“You better get down. Your name is not on the ballot. So that’s weird. So he came here to talk to them about getting the wrong ballot. They got the vote for District 25 instead of District Two,” Sjaarda said.

He thinks the splitting of Valley Springs into two districts is confusing.

“I mean, having two districts and a precinct is just asking for trouble. I don’t know why that would even be an option,” Sjaarda said.

The recent redistricting has created more cities with multiple districts. According to Minnehaha County Auditor Ben Kyte, this may have been one of the reasons 8 in 10 precincts reported incorrect ballots given to voters.

“So we found that out early, which dampened the effect of those,” Kyte said.

District 6 had a problem with more Democratic votes cast than Democrats on the ballot.

“They should have received a non-partisan ballot for Districts 9 and 11. Instead, they received the Democratic ballot for District 11,” Kyte said.

After discussing the situation with the Secretary of State’s office, Kyte, along with the state’s attorney’s office, approached a Minnehaha County judge to grant an order to open the ballots and present 21 ballots before the Election Resolution Committee. The judge granted the order.

“We had to recreate those 21 ballots as non-political, removing them from the Democratic vote,” Kyte said.

The change will not affect the outcome of the election.

All of this continues with Kyte’s organizational help. He will soon hand over the responsibility to a new auditor.

“City Sioux Falls in Tom Grecco was great for me. You know all the support in the county. My staff and my family just helped me out there,” Kyte said.

If you voted with an incorrect ballot, your vote was still counted in the election.

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