Senate Bill 103 proposes hiding election results until December. Which is the opposite of open government.

Did anyone else catch this in the Rapid City Journal this morning? Apparently a measure has been introduced – and actually passed out of committee – to hide the election results of the November election from South Dakota taxpayers until the middle of December:

The number of votes cast in the general election for president would remain a secret until the Electoral College does its work, according to a bill that was endorsed Monday morning by the Senate State Affairs Committee.


Passing SB103 would protect the Electoral College, according to Stalzer.

“This is a small way we can slow down, delay or even prevent the National Popular Vote (Interstate Compact) from undoing what the founders so carefully put together,” Stalzer said.

Read that here.

No.  Absolutely not.    I’m shocked that anyone would even consider limiting open government and the public’s right to know in this manner.  Are we that far gone that we choose to live in fear by hiding information from the voters who cast the ballots?

While the news story doesn’t mention it, the electoral college meets the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December.  The bill literally calls for the results of the South Dakota election to be hidden for over a month.

If we’re that scared of the National Popular Vote scheme – which I agree is a concept exceedingly harmful to our state – we already have a remedy. The court system. We can certainly bring a lawsuit to contest the act as unconstitutional, as it most certainly would be contested.

If we believe the National Popular Vote scheme is wrong, you don’t correct the problem with an even bigger wrong – violating people’s basic right to know the results of an election they just participated in.

Two wrongs don’t make a right.  And in this case, this is a non-solution that just ends up stripping taxpayers of rights. 

19 Replies to “Senate Bill 103 proposes hiding election results until December. Which is the opposite of open government.”

  1. JimV

    You are entitled to your opinion Pat but the headline is deceptive and fake news. You should read the bill before you chastise it.

    1. Pat Powers Post author

      Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” – Benjamin Franklin

  2. Anonymous

    Franklin also said “Half a truth is often a great lie”. Voters will know the winner and percentages of votes as soon as they are available.

    1. Pat Powers Post author

      Election results are basic voter information that the taxpayers who paid for the election are entitled to as soon as they’re tabulated.

  3. Richard Hilgemann

    I hope more states follow suit. This is a great idea. The information will still be available, even in a reasonable timeframe, while effectively killing the popular vote.

    1. Pat Powers Post author

      No it’s not. It’s one of the most awful ideas I’ve heard all session.

      There’s an article I was reading that noted “Voting results are the ultimate public record in a democracy. They need to be fully transparent, verifiable and preserve the anonymity of the ballots cast.”

      They’re right.

      Just telling voters “percentages” is complete BS. We need to be told the results, and they need to be provided as soon as they are tabulated.

    2. enquirer

      totally wrong. amazingly without logic. we now have a bill in this session that’s worse than the open-republican-primary bill from last session. wow. well, wait, that one was still worse i guess 🙂

  4. Troy

    I read the bill.

    In a world where transparency is the standard, in a world where Iowa Caucus got ridiculed for having no transparency in their election, we think it is a good idea not to tell the VOTER the outcome in all it fullness?

    You just can’t make this up. It is getting really tiring defending the intelligence of legislators any more, mostly because the idiocy is incontrovertible.

    P.S. This National Popular Movement will die two ways. Besides it’s clear lack of Constitutionality on a couple of levels (the worst is my Electors being required by law to nullify my vote But I am told there are more pervasive arguments including it being an overt attempt to nullify a Constitutional process without using the Amendment process), get Trump to a majority and then ask the States that have signed on if they’d have liked being a State that voted for Trump.

  5. enquirer

    what a huge non sequitur. it seems the public outcry over keeping a vote secret would work against strengthening the electoral college. the e-c stands on its own merit as a ‘republic’ form of accurate representation by population distribution, of the weight of the voter outcome for president. it has worked well, and will work well, and the only major backers of a national popular vote are the huge east coast and west cost congested urban clusters who would naturally benefit from that change, and turn the nation into a borderless blob of serfdom.

    1. Troy

      Good points. The EC has worked as designed. We live in a democracy. Trust the wisdom of the people. DO NOT ACT AFRAID of the people. That is what we just from Schiff and Nadler.

      1. Jackie

        We live in a representative republic, not a democracy. Which is the point of the EC. Other than that, I agree with your comment.

  6. jackrabit1

    Sometimes I wonder if legislators introduce cockamamie bills like this just so they can justify why they’re in Pierre.

  7. anon1

    I get the intention of the bill, but it’s a terrible idea.

    It’s sad that we have to go to extremes like this to avoid losing the electoral college. But,the part that really amazes me is that there are actually South Dakota residents that are ignorant enough to think we’d be better off without the electoral college!!

  8. Matt S

    Every time I think about re-registering back to republican something like this comes along. Sheer idiocy, I shall remain an independent.

  9. Anonymous

    This legislative session has been even more embarrassing than usual. Worst session of the last decade. Some of these guys should be ashamed.