A recount? Maybe. But a request for a new election is more likely.

The Argus has a story this morning about the possibility of a recount this AM with regards to the Jerstad/Earley race. With electronic tallying, it's doubtful that it would make a difference.

But what does need to be looked at is the fact that for a while on election day, in a massive botching of the election process, a precinct in that legislative District had ballots for the wrong Legislative District:
Democrat Sandy Jerstad said she spoke with Roust about the unlikeliness of results changing more than one or two votes.

"From what I have been told, I believe I have a comfortable lead," she said.

Randy Frederick, South Dakota Republican Party chairman, said Wednesday that District 12 was one of two Senate races for which he would seek a recount.


Frederick noted the mishap at Sunnycrest United Methodist Church in Sioux Falls, where voters initially received District 11 ballots, and some voters left. Whether there is legal recourse to seek a new election because those who left and perhaps didn't return could have voted for Earley is premature, he said.

"Some people schedule time to vote," he said. "In my particular case, I would have waited to come back."

Jerstad said if voters felt strongly about the election, they would have returned to cast ballots unless it was impossible.

"He (Earley) could have gained a few. I could have gained a few," she said of votes. "It's impossible to say."
Read it all here. "if voters felt strongly about the election, they would have returned to cast ballots unless it was impossible" - that's sure a big load of B.S. that the former coach is shoveling. We're going to have people in a few categories who hadn't spoken up about the problem.

Unfortunately, we're going to have the people who were totally oblivious to the problem. Then, we're going to have the people who didn't want the hassle of returning. And we're also going to have the group of people who just didn't care because those races weren't important to them.

Whether Jerstad likes it or not, the uninformed, lackadaisical, and those who consider the legislature unimportant have votes which count too. And because of that screwup by the Minnehaha County Auditor's office they were all denied that chance.

I think I heard a number around 37 or more ballots that were messed up before the problem was discovered. In a race that's down to 18 votes, 37 votes could have made all the difference in the world.


Anonymous said…
I think the republicans are grasping at straws. There were 27 people who chose not to vote in the legislative race. In order for those votes to change the election, Earley would have had to won by 23 – 4. Jerstad won Minnihaha county by a 55% - 45% margin. There probably should be a recount but to demand a special election is ridiculous. There are no do-overs in politics.
Anonymous said…
Disenfranchisement is serious business. "Chose not to vote?" Maybe they showed up to vote at 7AM because it was the only time they were able because of work schedules - maybe they were going out of town. It's not unreasonable to expect that when you show up at your polling place during legal polling you get a legal ballot. It is unreasonable to expect voters to go to their polling place twice. If this had happened at a precinct in Shannon county, or Charles Mix county,it would be given more serious consideration.
Anonymous said…
That's ridiculous and you know it.

I don't know how many of you have ever worked at polling places before on Election Day, but I can tell you at mine, and at every other polling place in Sioux Falls, we each turn away literally dozens of voters who are registered to vote somewhere else. We have no way of knowing whether or not they actually went to vote. We had one woman who very loudly proclaimed there was no way she would vote anywhere else.

We had voters who left in the morning rather than wait in line. We have no way of knowing whether they came back to vote or not.

We had a couple of provisional ballots. We have no way of knowing whether those will count or not.

You are, indeed, grasping at straws. The auditor made a mistake, and people affected by that mistake had the option of voting the correct ballots. If they chose not to do so, that would be their loss. And as pointed out by 8:50, they were more likely to be Jerstad voters anyway.
Anonymous said…
How this plays out will show the people of Sioux Falls what kind of a person Bill Earley really is.

It's about time they see.
Anonymous said…
I'm sure that Earley wishes that the ballot controversy had occurred in Lincoln County. From what I hear, he has a history of getting Lincoln County officials to abuse their power on his and his family's behalf.
Anonymous said…
if this were the other way around the dems would be up in arms shouting "VOTER FRAUD!!!!!" why isn't anyone asking how a district couldn't even get the correct ballots from the city???
Anonymous said…
I was one of those people who voted at Sunnycrest on Tuesday morning. I was there at 7:15 am and was told by the poll workers that there was a problem with the ballots. They indicated that they identified the problem before the polls opened and had called the auditors office right away. The new ballots were there by 7:25 (possibly a little earlier).

We were told that if wanted to vote, we could but that the offending sections (state reps) wouldn’t count. I saw about 12 to 14 people take them up on this while I was waiting. More could have taken this option before I showed up, but I can’t say for sure.

There were 25+ people in line in front of me when the correct ballots arrived, and I was number 53 in line…So we have around 16 votes unaccounted for. Not enough to come close to changing the results of the election. An unfortunate screw up by the county, but not enough to be crying voter fraud.
Anonymous said…
Having served on a recount board this summer in Lincoln County for the primary (for Republican House candidates in Dist. 12--I was the token Democrat appointed by Judge Severson under statute), I can tell you that the likelihood of massive voter change is unlikely,

The scanning system in use is accurate and fast. In the Lincoln County precincts, we had a one vote change, only because a spoiled ballot got thrown into the county. There was no change in the Minnehaha County results.

As to the Lincoln County auditor's office, our recount was done fairly and by the book. There were too many people there for hankypanky to go on--and too many good people--Yes Republicans even--to let something like that happen.

Was this a screw up in the Jerstad/Earley race? Yes. Did it likely favor Jerstad? As the first poster points out, not very likely.

Until there is objective proof to the contrary, trust the voting system in South Dakota.

Todd Epp
S.D. Watch: http://thunewatch.squarespace.com
Anonymous said…
"count" not "county" Ooops.
Anonymous said…
I'm glad that Epp can get "happy fingers" just like me on the key board. Hey anyway I thought blogs didn't have to perfect anyway. hummm and a little lol and imho,
Anonymous said…
I hear that at least one Dick Kelly voter got tired of the lines and left without voting. If it happened once it could have happened 1,000 times. Let's redo that election. We can combine it with the redo of the Bill Earley election.
Anonymous said…
There were 27 people offered the choice of the wrong ballot or waiting. 26 people chose the wrong ballot and one waited for the right ones.

Earley lost by 18 votes----Could 26 ballots make a difference--oh yes!

There is someone who has a record of all the names of those who chose to vote the wrong ballot.

Remember that everyone knew that this was a close race, that this has happened in this district before, and that the County Auditor is a Democrat who is not very pleasant to Republicans in the court house.
Anonymous said…
Let's put Lance Russell in charge of the recount. He's judicious. Of course, since PP won't post on his buddy it should be noted that he lost his home county in the race for judge.
PP said…
Anon, who says I'm not going to?

Maybe I'm waiting for some financial reports? Hmmm..? Or did we not think of that?
Anonymous said…
What, the financial reports that show nearly all the republican lawyers in RC supporting Fuller?
Anonymous said…
Also, can they use names in a judicial race filing? I worked on one 8 years ago and you couldn't, can you now? Or will rush limbaugh get leaked the names.
Anonymous said…
We don't need a new election. We don't need lawsuits either. Earley came close enough.

He just needs to go to the Republican controled senate, tell them that improprieties changed the outcome of the race, and ask the legislature to seat him instead of Jerstad.

With Republicans in control, he will be seated. The legislature is the sole judge of whom to seat.

The same can be done for Latterell.
Anonymous said…
I bet Earley is taking a poll of Republican senators right now to see if he would win an election contest in the Senate. If he thinks he'd win, he'll do it. If not, he won't.
Anonymous said…
If this would have happened to a DEM there would be looting in the streets, lawsuits file, jobs lost. This is terrible and needs to be fixed.

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