I’m sure that’s going to go well. Incoming SOS will push to hand-count all ballots

Reports are surfacing this morning that incoming Secretary of State Monae Johnson will actually be making efforts to ban machine tabulations of election ballots as part of her efforts as the state’s chief election official.

Changes like an audit of every precinct in South Dakota and a state-level push to convince county auditors to hand-count all ballots. She’s also suggesting that lawmakers consider barring the use of tabulator machines altogether.


“I had people reaching out to me saying ‘no’ because anything can be hacked,” Johnson said. “That was the biggest thing. The people reaching out to me were IT people, military people.”

Johnson did not name the IT and military sources who expressed those concerns, but campaign manager Gretchen Weible did point to sources for the hacking claims.


Johnson advisor Rick Weible said the issue in Tripp County wasn’t hand-counting ballots, but that the people counting those ballots grew tired. A fine-tuned process for hand counts would alleviate fatigue-related problems, he said.

Read the entire story here.

Oh my.  I’m sure this is going to go well.

Especially when 90% of the state’s county Auditors show up at a legislative hearing and question the sanity of legislators for even considering the notion of going back to hand counts.

41 thoughts on “I’m sure that’s going to go well. Incoming SOS will push to hand-count all ballots”

  1. I get protecting the integrity of the vote. Absolutely. But I do not see the problem here in our state. Other states? For sure there is an integrity problem. But not in ours.

    And then going to hand counting? We saw how ridiculously slow that was for Tripp county with this midterm election.

    Appreciate the sense of protecting the vote. Don’t see any compelling evidence that there is a problem in our state.

    1. There isn’t an integrity problem in other states. There’s a problem in dealing with not winning in other states, but not an election integrity problem. There’s wishes for faster tabulation, but counting quickly and counting accurately aren’t the same.

      1. ~ There isn’t an integrity problem in other states. ~

        MSNBC is your station of choice, right?

      1. Packet captures, John. Don’t think we’ve forgotten your numerous claims that dont pan out.

  2. Rick Weible is among the worst of choices for an advisor. Absolutely insane. He doesn’t understand how voting or counting even works. Every conversation I’ve had with him he shows no ability to listen.

  3. Perhaps none of the auditors and other staff were watching the GOP primary results closely. For a couple hours when not a single vote showed up for some candidates even though more precincts were tabulated. That stuck out as a huge red flag to me and a few others watching the results online. These were state wide races. This makes me question the results of the GOP primary.

    1. I would suggest that if you are so unhappy and distrustful of public servants, maybe you should run. At the very least, learn how the systems work and you wouldn’t make such out-of-touch (not the word I wanted to use) statements.

      1. It does NOT matter if you trust a public servant or not. It is PUBLIC INFORMATION that the PUBLIC has every right to “AUDIT” any such public information they wish to audit, review, and to discuss. In fact, the Public Servants who are denying it from occuring, are the obstructionists, and are acting in an unconstitutional manner. And any citizen who participates in that Unconstitutional activity, is participating in the scheme to deny the PEOPLE what they have every right to do.

  4. Can you imagine how long it would take to tabulate Minnehaha County if we had to do it all by hand? And if they take steps to prevent people from getting tired, glossing over, and losing count, they’re going to have to take breaks every 20 min! I can’t imagine how they’re going to find that many elections workers — they scramble every election as it is!!

  5. Can’t wait for her to push this, and then the legislature to move the SoS race to a primary vote in 2026. She’ll be out and she and her supporters will wonder why. #insanerthanmost

  6. Is the process clunky? Maybe. Here’s a thought, lay out the entire process, see where the clunkiness is, then approach it one piece at a time.

  7. What, exactly, is the basis for your opposition to hand counts? You do know that machines can be programmed to change the totals when they do the tabulations, right?

    1. You do know people can change the totals, right?

      Hand-counting isn’t a guarantee against fraud.

      1. All hand-counting does is compound tabulation errors due to fatigue and lengthen the amount of time it takes to count votes, both of which are antithetical to the supposed goals of the “election integrity” crowd to begin with.

        Not the brightest bunch that lot.

  8. Don’t blame me, I voted for Barnett. Glorified secretaries will not do the best in leadership positions.

    1. I would say Barnett losing to Monae Johnson says more about him than it says about her.

      He was the incumbent. He went unopposed in 2018. He still has over $120k in his campaign account. How did he screw that all up in 4 years?

      Jackley and Rhoden both won at the same convention. He lost 61% of the vote there. They had a nice majority.

      Johnson needs to ditch the Weibles. Doesn’t she know other people who she worked with that she can run these ideas by before she goes public with them?

      No SOS has made it more than 4 years since Chris Nelson.

      1. Had a person come up to me and ask “what is a delegate to convention and what do they do?” They had no idea. Informed me that they were at a mixer and Monea’s team was signing people up to be delegates. Once they won they received a phone call telling them “they needed to vote for Monea”

        That’s how she won. Not because Barnett wasn’t doing a good job. Brilliant back door politics.

        1. I think she won because a certain someone has been screaming about stolen elections for two years and hardcore Republicans ate it up.

          Tim Goodwin says some other states are still counting ballots. Well add SD to that list if MJ gets her way. And Tim can thank his own party and former, twice impeached Pres for it.

  9. If Trump doesn’t win the primary, does this “election integrity” crap go away? Just because some boomers are scared of their phone doesn’t mean the voting machines were “hacked” in 2020. The whole movement is laughable, its the same people who post on Facebook “I’ve been hacked!”, when someone is impersonating them with a new fake page. It could be easily discredited, but they don’t know how, and they just go crazy with this “hacking” term, which isn’t accurate at all.

    1. The corrupt system is designed to produce this apathy.

      Anon posts in an Internet message forum don’t get a seat at the ideological table in my opinion.

      1. How convenient for you, John. Unfortunately, posts from known conspiracy theorists don’t get a seat at my ideological table, you can join the kids table and tell them about your blog though.

    2. Nope. The MAGAs are dug in now and won’t ever accept truth if it’s not what they want to hear. This will lead to a party fracture. I’ll be holding the popcorn.

  10. Here we go again.

    *rolls eyes*

    “You’re crazy” if you want election integrity or to know who killed Kennedy and why.

    “[South Dakotans can’t add one” is even worse than “black people can’t get ID’s”.

    Come on, man!

  11. Hand counting.

    It’s difficult work, but since when are South Dakotans afraid of a little work?

    Hand counting at the precincts is the old school of our time.

    It is the barn raising of the republic.

    It’s like, proverbially speaking, Johnson just walked into the room holding double revolvers and caught everybody with their pants down.

    Practically and objectively speaking, it’s a good time to move slowly.

    I would pick up an extra shift to help count votes.

    It’s especially good since I could walk to the precinct.

    My precinct.

    We know this is the best way to ensure integrity since we would rather be close enough by hand than perfectly mis-counted by a machine.

    What great and noble hard work this is!

  12. Hand counting the votes is the resurrection of that old tractor that’s been sitting in the field for decades under a gray and weathered plywood lean-to ..

    Thanks for the shout-out, Anon.

    I would not care of Turtle man, Crocodile Hunter, Janet from Three’s Company, or Tiger King was SOS as long as we can demonstrate assurance in our elections. Monet Johnson is a better option, clearly.

    South Dakota’s problems are unclear voter roles and chain of custody. Hand counting the votes encourages bigger precincts to spin off to maximize parallel processing effects. Well managed change can be annoying. Mismanaged change can be painful. Is not changing an option, here?

    A detailed counting process at precinct ensures max transparency and assurance. Candidates and committees could appoint paid oversight and counting staff. Candidates must be allowed in the room? Not having candidates in the room has not prevented fraud? Use the tables from the Arizona audit. No cameras required, but cameras are allowed (heck, everybody seems to have them).

    At scale, can the population of The United States do basic math? Does it have the will to know the real numbers after the Southern border situation?

    The reporting phase: The precinct totals can be written down, photographed, reported via computer and published via local media. After all totals reported, convene a convention of counters to verify the counts on printed materials at the convention. Pay the counting/reporting teams for training, day of, and convention. 100% travel covered + $1000/day from pre-election training through to election certification?

    Everyone at the convention bring your solar powered calculators to save the burden of adding everything manually. Maybe the state could splurge on some branded calculators as a tradition. As long as they’re not made in Mexico or China or ..

  13. Barnett lost because he didn’t embrace the ‘steal’ drama, because he knows that our elections work. Are they perfect? Probably not. But there’s not a counting problem or a conspiracy to elect one group or another. Lots of people get in their own bubble and really believe everyone thinks like they do. There’s no way they could possible lose — I’m looking at you Taffy and Liz and Stace – so they believe theirs a cabal pushing them down and out (Lora). The reality is that most normal people are going to work, raising their kids, and doing what they need to do day to day to improve their lives. They aren’t reading this blog or any other and aren’t buying into the latest conspiracy theories being promoted by the nut jobs. They aren’t showing up to convention to support people like Monae because she embraces ‘stop the steal’.

    I would also say that the problem in other states is not one of counting. The problem was created years ago when their state legislature’s allowed super easy early voting, which enabled the Democrat party to harvest votes, much like we’ve seen the Democrats do in South Dakota when they’ve had competitive candidates like Tim Johnson and Tom Daschle — they had the money and staff to harvest thousands of votes on the reservations. Just a fact. That’s what’s happening in the big population centers in other states. Not problems with vote counting.

    So if you want to really change things — you don’t go to manual counting. That’s just stupid and not the problem. You reduce early voting to no more than a couple weeks so candidates are more fully informed prior to the election. (See Fetterman election in Pennsylvania.) Which also reduces the time for organizations to harvest votes. Personally, I’m for one election day where everyone has to show up that day. Make it a federal holiday so everyone has the day off. But no more 6 weeks of ballot harvesting.

    1. The definition of working like you are 20% down doesn’t apply to him. It applied to Jackley and everyone else and that is why they won.

      Barnett is the reason Barnett lost. It’s not a conspiracy or an issue. He got out worked.

      Kristi won by 30%. She didn’t settle for a win. She worked for a blowout.

  14. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I kind of agree that super early voting is not a great idea. Make it 4 weeks prior to the actual Election Day at the most. Also, make online voter registration (NOT voting) a reality in SD. We’re one of only 3 or 4 states that Don’t allow this. It’s correct, those who can’t accept defeat are the loons that think SD’s elections are broken (which they are not). It’s the 21st century folks, get with the program or shut up.

  15. “ A fine-tuned process for hand counts would alleviate fatigue-related problems, he said.”


  16. We’re marching backward here. The Party should disassociate itself from this “hand count” business which is just more divisiveness. For some reason, there is a faction that loves to gin up controversy where none should exist.

    1. Pretty hard to disassociate when they just voted in an election denier as SOS. This IS the party now.

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