There seems to be a lot of Democrats who want the votes of dead people to count.

Senate Bill 111
Sponsors: Senators Parsley, Buhl O’Donnell, Haverly, Hunhoff (Bernie), Olson, Omdahl, and Sutton and Representatives Wollmann, Bartling, Bolin, Feickert, Gibson, Johns, McCleerey, Otten (Herman), Rasmussen, Ring, Romkema, Schoenfish, and Schrempp

Purpose: repeal the provision that invalidates absentee ballots cast by voters who died before the date of the election.

I notice there’s a disproportionate number of Democrats who who want the votes of dead people to count in elections.

41 Replies to “There seems to be a lot of Democrats who want the votes of dead people to count.”

  1. Troy Jones

    Hmmmm. Chesterton said that tradition is the vote of dead people. They want to kill tradition and traditional concepts. Seems like a contradiction. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Steve Sibson

      Troy, good luck talking common sense to those angry bigots at Madville. I would support your efforts, but Cory is now blocking my comments. So much for liberals supporting diversity.

      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        What happened to Sibby Online? You posted some great work there and we used to follow you but then you stopped.

        Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Come on, Wollman. You might be new and looking for something to latch onto but not this bill. Don’t listen to Parsley. He’s not looking out for you.

    Reply
  3. Troy Jones

    Here is an irony from a pure Machiavellian perspective:

    Absentee ballots favor the “team” with organization. The GOP is a organization machine. Dem’s are a clunker that doesn’t run.

    That said, dead people shouldn’t vote. The election is held on a particular day. If you aren’t here on that day, your vote shouldn’t count. Voting is a citizen right and dead people are no longer citizens. Period.

    Reply
    1. Fleming

      I disagree, Troy. Early voting allows people to cast their (valid) vote. The vote counts the same way a will counts. It is an item of valuable, time limited intellectual property that the deceased has willed to some and not others.

      Or are you saying that a person’s opinion has no value after he dies and can no longer defend it. If that’s the case, why would anyone ever write anything down?

      As to “dead people shouldn’t vote” they didn’t. They were alive when they voted.
      Your problem is equating the vote with the person. The vote is a possession of the person, not the person himself.

      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        i’m picturing a vital vote where the members elect are perfectly split save for that one person that didn’t vote yet. so that one final vote goes to the booth, fills out the ballot, then drops over backward out of the booth, dead as a doornail. will a stalemate be forced to endure because that ballot will be tossed, because the few seconds of life after casting the vote just weren’t long enough? if we disallow absentee ballots from those who later meet their maker, then the law also needs a provision for those who drop dead in the booth on election day. and, say you vote in the morning and die at lunchtime while the election day still rages on, does your vote get pulled? vetting the voter list should be done prior to the absentee period getting under way.

        Reply
      2. PlanningStudent

        We do NOT having early voting in South Dakota. While the SoDak lawmakers have expanded and increased access to absentee voting they have not created early voting. You are right that early voting turns every day into election day and some states have done that. South Dakota has NOT. We still put the ballot into the absentee envelope for the precise reason that we can take it back out if you die or commit a crime.. While we still call it absentee voting, we only have one election day.

        Reply
  4. Tim Begalka

    Anne has a legitimate point, especially if the ballot comes from afar. How can the Auditor know for certain if any in the stack of ballots has died? On the other hand, I do like it being considered “election day” and not “election season”.

    Reply
      1. Anonymous

        and you’re right republicans should want it repealed. given the state’s death rate, projecting it among likely voters, most of the rejected/pulled ballots would probably be republican. of course in any election question, like “who won” “who cast the most votes,” etc. the answer is republican.

        Reply
  5. Troy Jones

    Bill,

    I’ll ignore your “will” analogy as it isn’t comparable except to say what is legal in a will is what we are able to transfer. We can’t transfer our citizen rights. 🙂

    Voting is more than filling out a ballot. It also includes placing it in the ballot box.

    In SD, “early voting” is actually “conditional voting” where if we don’t show up at the polls we give permission to have our absentee ballot placed in the ballot box on ELECTION DAY. When we die prior to election day, we lose our right to place our ballot in the box (right to vote terminates with death).

    Logically and by principle, your case is stronger (and I would agree with you) if our absentee ballot wasn’t “conditional” and were placed in the ballot box immediately upon receipt (effectively our dropping it in the mail or going to the court house is placing it in the ballot box) and we can no longer go to the polls on election day just as we can’t retrieve our ballot from the ballot box and re-vote.

    Again, voting includes us dropping it in the ballot box. A dead person can’t drop it in the box. Verste’?

    Reply
    1. Fleming

      So Troy, if you vote absentee, and change your mind, can you go down to the courthouse before election day, retrieve your ballot, destroy it, and have a do-over? If not, then I don’t see the distinction. It’s “dropped in the ballot box” the day it’s dropped in the “mail box.” I hear you on timing, I’m just disagreeing with you (obviously 🙂

      Reply
  6. Troy Jones

    Jaa Dee,

    We can figure it out. But, our integrity and respect for the ballot preclude us from approaching the issue from a Machiavellian point of view. By your comment, it appears you approach things in a more Machiavellan way and consider not doing so stupid. Tells us a lot about your character, integrity and justifies ignoring what you say because you are a would-be dictator in sheep’s clothing and would condone a dictator who protects only the civil rights which serve you purpose.

    Reply
  7. Troy Jones

    Bill,

    I don’t know if you can go to the courthouse and have a do-over (I think so but not sure). However, even though you submit a “provisional/absentee” ballot, you can go to the polls and vote on election day and your “provisional/absentee” ballot will be destroyed by the election officials.

    This is why they don’t count the absentee ballots until the end as they check to make sure you didn’t show up at the polls.

    Reply
  8. Troy Jones

    Anonymous,

    Am I incorrect that after casting an absentee ballot, I can still go the polls and cash a vote, triggering the destruction of my absentee ballot?

    Reply
    1. Fleming

      It would be good to have a definite answer. It could come in handy in last minute campaign pitches any number of ways if you’re right, Mr. Jones. Or perhaps, it already has? 😉

      Reply
    2. Anonymous

      mr jones – the auditor tells me that at the polling place, the people on duty would see that your vote was already registered and not let you vote. to cast a vote would be trying to vote twice, which is against the law.

      Reply
  9. Anne Beal

    So, if you vote early, your ballot goes into an envelope with your name on it, and it is stored until Election Day, unless you die, or vote at the polling station, in which case it is removed and destroyed? But then it’s not a very secret ballot, if it’s stored for a month in an envelope with your name on it. Plus, the large envelopes aren’t cheap, and would represent an additional expense. It’s one thing for the mailed-in ballots to stay in the envelopes they are delivered in, but when people show up at the courthouse to vote early in person, then the auditor has to provide each voter with his own envelope? Which would not be reusable because the voter’s name has to be on it?

    Reply
  10. Troy Jones

    I stand corrected. I always thought different. Don’t know why. And, no, I’ve never voted twice. I have never voted absentee since I moved back to SD in 1985.

    Reply
  11. PlanningStudent

    Its not semantics, don’t say vote early or early vote, because you don’t. In some states you can, not in South Dakota. You submit an ballot prior to the election because you plan on being absentee on election day, so your ballot goes into an absentee envelope. If on election day comes and your still alive and still not a felon you ballot gets counted. Reports are ran daily with half a dozen agencies looking for new felony convictions and deaths. Those reports are ran against the voter database and if a voter has been identified as having submitted a absentee ballot, it is yanked. SOS Gant centralized that database making this process much more real-time. Absentee ballots, inside of absentee envelopes are still to be stored inside a locked ballot box. Election Day not Election Season… Rant Over

    Reply
    1. Fleming

      Thanks Planning Student. I’m sure you’re right if you worked there, but I think it’s wrong, policy wise. Those early “maybe” votes should be early “real” votes (in my opinion) and I bet the vast majority of South Dakotans who vote that way believes that they are. So Troy, what’s the downside of changing the law so that “early voter” perception can match “early voter” reality?

      (Note: to answer “because it’s the law, dammit” isn’t a good enough answer. 😉

      Reply
  12. PlanningStudent

    One downside is application of oats for votes laws will probably be extended to cover all of the absentee period.

    Reply
  13. PlanningStudent

    I’m philosophically opposed to early voting, and thus replacing campaign season and Election Day with election season.. Unless something has changed SoDak has the longest absentee period in the nation. The first person in America to cast a general election (absentee) ballot is a South Dakotan..

    I think the idea of extending oats 4 votes for 40 some days is enough to scare any candidate / elected official to accept early voting.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      my question about what happens if you drop dead in the voting booth seconds after marking the ballot still stands

      Reply

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