KELOland chronicling Secretary of State’s errors in primary election

KELOland news posted a story last evening regarding the bumps in the road that Secretary of State Monae Johnson has experienced in her first statewide election.  And as reader of this website know, it has been a rocky road:

Based on the error by the SOS, the office rejected Taylor’s challenge to Merkwan’s place on the ballot, which lead to an appeal to circuit court where a judge ruled that it was the responsibility of the candidate to know the number of signatures needed, and it did not matter what they were told by the SOS. Therefor, Merkwan was decertified as a Republican candidate.

The Office of the SOS has taken responsibility for the error, telling KELOLAND News that they had mounted a ‘vigorous defense’ as to why Merkwan should remain on the ballot.

“The court was made aware and the office admitted that it miscalculated the number of valid signatures needed to place Legislative District 17 Republican candidates on the ballot.  The office also put forth the argument that Mr. Merkwan should not be penalized for the office’s mistake.”


Read the entire story here.

Why is there this nagging feeling that someone should start preparing for a run for Secretary of State in 2026, because there will most likely be an open seat?

Hopefully, not the Deputy SOS, as Monae Johnson was advocating for in 2023.

35 thoughts on “KELOland chronicling Secretary of State’s errors in primary election”

  1. Everyone that voted for her over Tom Cool simply because of the letter behind her name should be ashamed.

    1. Respectfully, Tom Cool –> a terrible candidate. All he does is lose. If the SDDP had nominated someone more likable and if that party had focused ad spending on the SOS race, the dems could have defeated Monae. Tom Cool may be a nice person. I wouldn’t know. But he’s a proven loser. With sufficient funds behind him, Jamie Smith just might have defeated Monae.

      1. Keep in mind, anyone running with the (D) by their name, is already behind the 8-Ball… Hell, Joel Koskan pulled 42% of the votes, after he was charged with molesting his adopted daughter. Honestly, this is why we have such a mess in SD.

        1. Can Joel Koskan run again for the legislature from prison and if elected just zoom meeting thru session? Somehow his past just does not seem to matter anymore with the Trump Party as long as there is an R behind his name.

  2. Tom Piscke, Dave Roetman, and Jason Ravnsborg: THIS IS YOUR FAULT. You are the reason Barnett lost the primary. Moan and groan all you want, all of us at that convention know you are to blame. Be ashamed.

    1. I was for Barnett and thought he was a great SOS and of great value to our state. But, to place the blame people who only have standing by the failure of general party leadership is the same as one meeting St. Peter at the Pearly Gates and blaming Satan for their debauched life.

      Ownership is what adults do. Grow up or expect more of the same as it will be well earned.

    2. you left out Taffy Howard and Steve Haugaard. All of them recruited the worst people they could find to run as precinct committee men and women.

      1. Funny you make the claim the worst precinct people possible. There are 689 precincts. There are 620,000 registered voters. Each precinct has more than enough people to provide for a huge array of political beliefs. Break down those districts, and more than 80% of the population is very conservative, grounded in the construction, and very much anti-estabmisbment l. The small faction of establish people in the party are just mad that actual hard working Americans, true South Dakotans are actually taking the time to sign up to grab control back inside the counties, using tge republican party to change state politics. I would never call my fellow citizens any negative name. I would rather trust an average, hardworking S.D Citizen any day over some establishes punk party member.

        1. do we need to repost the actual figures from the primary vs the convention? I have done this before, I’ll do it again:
          If the counties didnt vote for Haugaard for governor in the primary, why did so many of them vote for him for LG at the convention?
          In several large counties, the percentages didn’t match at all.

          In Minnehaha, only 29% voted for Haugaard in the primary, at the convention, 69% did
          In Pennington, only 27% voted for him, at the convention, 44.5% did
          Fall River : 22% v 75%
          Brookings: 26% v 39%
          Yankton: 30% v 76%

          The delegations are not reflecting the will of the voters

          We know what the problem is. What are we going to do about it? .

          1. Anne the convention didn’t happen in a vacuum. It happened because we have a lot of division in SD and most of it comes from the govs office in SD.

            I voted for Jackley, Barnett and Rhoden but I understand why people are mad.

            1. Roetman is mad because he was voted out as Minnehaha chair. Ravnsborg is mad because he screwed up and didn’t get a pass,
              Tom Pischke is mad because he has to support his children, and Taffy Howard and Steve Haugaard are mad because they lost in the primaries.
              All of them directed the anger spawned by their personal problems at the SDGOP. They didn’t get what they wanted so they are trying to destroy the party.

              1. Anne’s statistics arr flawed. Thr Governor Election is toyslly different than tge Lt Governor election. The governor is chosen by a popular vote of the voters. The Lt Governor is chosen by a majority of precincts, Legislative districts, and counties based on the private beliefs of the people. The same voters that supported a second term for norm. Also supported precinct peoppe that voted for Haugsrs for Lt Governor.

                Anne Beal married into the Beal family. The family is a true conservative. Ann is a wacky liberal.

                1. Bullshit. Above you claim that private individuals are best suited to pick the Lt. Governor and now you claim that the voting members at the convention know better? Your logic is as bad as your spelling.

                  If Haugaard was so well liked, why did he get his ass kicked in the primary?

                  1. Because he is insaner than most, and voters recognize that. Most fellows at the convention are also insaner than most, and they like Mr. Haugaard as a whispy-haired sultry-voiced bedfellow.

        2. You say ‘I would never call my fellow citizens any negative name’ and in the next sentence label “establishment” (whatever that means to you) ‘punk party member’. DQ’d right there. Guessing on who you call ‘establishment’; let’s not forget they’ve carried water a very, very long time for the party. Many of them are far more conservative than the people calling them names and ‘thinking’ they could do better who have never even stepped up to serve!! It’s quite childish if you take a step back and look at it. Don’t believe everything you hear.

  3. With all the ‘grassroots patriots’ in the precinct committee people spots and over taking the county parties no decent people want to be involved. If this continues into 2026 we are going to end up with Weible wobble or some similar whackadoodle as the Republican nomination. Something has to change t

    1. there are some who see it as you made your bed with all the crazies now sleep in it while the state turns purple. The Trump Party? Eh! Busy fighting over conspiracies like chemtrails, election fraud, instant death after getting the jab, moneypox and who knows what else.

  4. What will be fun to watch will be these new county executive boards trying to get their precinct committee men and women to do the job they signed up for.

  5. If only Tony and Will had the courage the legislature could fix this mess. We haven’t had this system forever. It’s newish and has run its course right down the drain and needs to end.

    1. Hey maybe then they could get Daugaard to raise them all the money to win an AG race? Which is probably the intended goal.

  6. Anonymous @ April 17, 2024 at 9:49 am is mostly right.

    The convention didn’t happen in a vacuum but the problem goes beyond the Governor. For years, GOP leadership has ignored or worse, pooh poohed, those who had different policy positions or views or just had the audacity to ask leadership questions. Treat people like dirt long enough and they get mad.

    Yet, people like Anne Beal “rationalize” the “issues” like she did above. She can’t even contemplate people might want to re-elect Noem for whatever reason they have (vs. Haaugard) but like him for LG for whatever reason they have. She can’t even contemplate people might want to re-elect Noem but want to make a statement to GOP leadership. Instead she wants to somehow assert the people at convention are far removed from the “people.”

    Keep it up GOP establishment with that failure to have an ounce of self-awareness and playing your games with conventions and primaries to protect your invitation to the nice parties but ultimately it won’t be enough for your wholesale rejection.

    1. I cannot imagine why anybody would be dumb enough to put two adversaries in office together and think that what comes out of that partnership would benefit the state and people of South Dakota.

      At the convention, some young people asked me what I thought of Haugaard’s run for LG, and I told them “it’s like a divorced couple. you might like them both, but they don’t get along.”
      One of the young men said “sounds like my parents.”
      The Haugaard candidacy was intended to be divisive and destructive. There was no other reason for it.

    2. You need to contemplate what a Noem-Haugaard ticket would have looked like out on the campaign trail leading up to the general election, Steve having to make appearances to praise Kristi’s qualifications for the top job, to realize that the people who thought this was a good idea were out of their minds.

      1. Anne, I need to contemplate nothing. I think you all are nuts, establishment or anti establishment.

        I find your lack of awareness humorous. You probably also won’t realize when you are irrelevant.

  7. We need to draft Kea Warne to run! She was the horsepower behind all the well run elections from the past.

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