After election problems, Secretary of State trying to move backwards in technology & cease use of vote centers, electronic pollbooks

This went out yesterday from the Secretary of State’s office, to counties who like and use electronic pollbooks and vote centers for the speed and convenience of voters.

As opposed to strengthening backup procedures, the problems 2 counties experienced with connectivity to the state voter database managed by the Secretary of State are triggering the SOS to propose to cease using technology.

SDSOS proposal to move back to StoneAge by Pat Powers on Scribd

E-Pollbooks are used in jurisdictions in 32 states, with Alabama set to be the 33rd.  They’re becoming more and more prevalent, specifically for the following reasons as cited by the NCSL:

There are a variety of e-poll books on the market, and many jurisdictions design their own. An e-poll book typically provides one or more of the following functions:

  • Allows poll workers to look up voters from the entire county or state. This can reduce time spent checking in voters, one of the bottlenecks in the voting process.

  • Allows poll workers to easily redirect voters in the wrong location to the correct polling place.

  • Scans a driver’s license to pull up a voter’s information, avoiding data entry errors.

  • Notifies poll workers if a voter already voted absentee or during the early voting period.

  • Allows voters to sign in electronically.

  • Produces turnout numbers and lists of who voted.

  • Uses a photo to verify a voter’s identity. This could be a method to prevent voter fraud, but it is not yet in place anywhere.

  • E-poll books in some states (Maryland and Indiana, for example) are networked and receive immediate updates on who has voted in other voting centers. Other states (Minnesota and Michigan, for example) specify that e-poll books may not be connected to the network.

You can read the entire report here.

Brookings County has used voting centers and e-pollbooks since their inception several years ago, and voting could not be quicker, easier and more convenient.   Brookings used them last week, and it went just fine.  Seems there’s the possibility that fingers might be pointed in the wrong direction on this one. But, we’ll see.

Maybe they’ll propose to go Fred Flintstone on us, and change to stone tablets next.

24 Replies to “After election problems, Secretary of State trying to move backwards in technology & cease use of vote centers, electronic pollbooks”

  1. Anonymous

    What does Barnett think? I’d like him to have an opinion on some of these issues prior to convention. Hes going to win. We should know where he stands.

    I’m on the fence on vote centers. I just want to here if the next sos for 4 to 8 years wants technology rolled back or if he wants to just have hard copies of voter lists at each location.

  2. Anonymous

    Barnett should attend this meeting and voice his ideas as a candidate for Secretary. So should the Dems if they have a candidate… crickets?

  3. Anonymous

    I hope Linda Lee Viken asks Krebs and Warne why provisional ballots were not used. Why not use them?

  4. Troy Jones

    I have two positions which on the surface conflict:

    1) I think there are points where outgoing Officers become lame duck and should leave decisions with long-term impact to successors.

    2) I think the people’s business is on-going and outgoing officers shouldn’t “check-out” early.

    The issue is discerning which applies in what situation. It is my thought #1 applies in this case because:

    1) It is in reaction to a current “blow-up.” Almost always the best decision is made farther removed from the “blow-up.”

    2) If there is doubt about the current system, the SOS/Board of Elections can mandate for this upcoming General Election a mandatory printout.

    What I see above being proposed is a precipitous reaction to one election. Seldom do such reactions result in good long-term decision.

    Finally, do we need a definitive position from Barnett today? I think to some degree we should allow him to gather all information from all sources and not push him into a decision which time doesn’t require. That said, I think it proper for him to communicate some generalities on what he is thinking and how he is thinking. I hope the distinction I’m proposing is clear.

    1. Anonymous

      Very well put Troy. No hasty decisions need to be made but as a delegate I also have little insight into Barnett’s thinking as a candidate for secretary of state. He easily had my vote for auditor and I’m not worried about him but this role is more policy focused and it’s important to know that we aren’t going to be surprised by his positions. It’s also a much more high profile office so its surprising he is taking a low key approach without issuing policy positions or ideas.

      Kristi put out a detailed plan for campaign finance. Does he go along with it or not?

      Vote centers have been working for a long time. I’d hate to see him support changes.

  5. Anonymous

    The goal to erase Gant is almost complete…

    Kundert, Hazeltine, Nelson, *, Krebs…

    *the years 2011-2015 have been completely erased.

    Erased from existence.

  6. Anonymous

    If Barnett would agree to serve as Krebs deputy he would have her experience to help guide him through these issues. This would be a strong team going forward.

    1. Anonymous

      Barnett could have opposition. If this is proposed legislation then Krebs wouldn’t even be around at that point in 2019… or would she? Curious situation here.

    2. PlanningStudent

      Krebs didn’t need any training before taking office and neither will Barnett. Barnett is a smart person, he will be able to hit the ground running. There is also very capable staff such as Kea and others that will help with retaining institutional knowledge to support a new SOS. We as delegates have heard for months that Barnett wants the SOS job and I still haven’t heard anything other than from anonymous posters on this site that Krebs wants to run again. As a delegate that speaks volumes to me. If someone wants to run I want to hear from that person before the convention.

  7. Anonymous

    I had no problem voting in Rapid City. The use of vote centers has allowed voters to vote at any location in their area and has made it more convenient for me to vote on my way to or from work vs my polling location that always had long lines and was out of my way. Removing vote centers would be a step in the wrong direction – if provisional ballots were used during the problem this would not be an issue. The Secretary of State and County Auditors should have had a back-up plan this is nothing more than poor planning on their part and voters are going to be punished. I hope Barnett will oppose this and continue to make improvements in South Dakota election.

      1. Anonymous

        Vote centers are awesome! They should stay. Krebs knows that.

        Does anyone know if Barnett supports constitutional carry or getting rid of the permit process?

  8. Anonymous

    Sioux Falls School district used voting centers and scanned the driver’s licenses. I thought it was a smooth process. That was the first election I voted in as a new South Dakotan. After that was the 2016 General Election and I was puzzled that the poll workers manually looked up my information. Seems to me time can be saved by scanning an ID and/or electronically looking up a voter.

  9. Anonymous

    If Barnett opposes vote centers delegates should be looking for a second choice at the GOP convention next week.

  10. Anonymous

    If Barnett would issue a public statement on his position to delegates it would answer any questions they have.

  11. Anonymous

    Krebs must apologize for her ongoing blame of Jason Gant for everything. I hope she runs for SOS so Barnett can with 80-20 at Convention. She neglected the farm to run for Congress and now she is harvesting the thistles.

  12. anon

    I like Shantel and have supported her in the past. But if she decides to run for SOS at the last minute, I will personally come to convention and campaign against her. Barnett has declared and put the work in. He’s been a good Auditor. He should be our candidate.

  13. Anonymous

    Shantel did a nice job as Secretary, but she made her decision to give up the Secretary of State position and run for the House. If she is an honorable person, which I believe she is, she will not try to jump back in at the convention. If she makes a play for the SOS position, I believe her political career will end badly and she will suffer two major defeats in the same month. As a delegate attending convention, I will not support her.

  14. Anonymous

    I agree, Shantel has done a nice job as Secretary and that’s why I hope Barnett would consider taking a position as her chief deputy. In 4 years she could hand over the reins to Mr. Barnett. He would gain valuable knowledge and experience and be the shoo-in in 4 years; also giving the delegation assurance he would be successful.

  15. grudznick

    Young Mr. Barnett will trounce all comers at the convention. What, then, will Mr. Krebs do and where will he live?

  16. Anonymous

    Barnett’s real issue is not whether he will win or lose. It has more to do with delegates thinking he is lacking depth on the issues or office functions.

    If he were to start to articulate his ideas then it would be easy to vote for him without hesitation but no one knows what he thinks because he has ran a lackluster campaign for an office he lacks competition and lacks experience.

    Delegates are right to question where he and all candidates stand. One might hope he puts forth some sort of policy or presents himself in a way that indicates he is ready to run the secretary of states office.

    Krebs does not need to overreact and ban vote centers.

    Barnett could state an opinion on this issue and a host of others important to voting delegates prior to the convention.

  17. Anonymous

    This will be a boring convention.

    The GOP could nominate a serious stinker for AG.

    I’m cautious on even going.

    I’ll vote whether we have vote centers or not.

  18. Anonymous

    The campaign finance laws should be completely overhauled. SDCL 12-27 has been band-aided over the years. Barnett’s plan to correct this broken system will be a the biggest indicator of his success as Secretary of State in his first year.


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