SOS Candidate Monae Johnson tells delegates that if elected, her intent is to disenfranchise a group of voters

I received a letter in the mail today from Secretary of State candidate Monae Johnson, where she explained her platform as a candidate for Secretary of State. Unfortunately, I’m not getting the impression that she researched the issues she’s running on very well, because one of the major parts of her platform she’s running on has been held as being unconstitutional:

Johnson throws out the canard that “Residency requirements should be tightened so that non-South Dakotans cannot register to vote using campgrounds, mail forwarding services or businesses like Walmart as their residential addresses.”

Ugh. The problem with her platform of disenfranchising a group of people because they might travel in RV’s? It might be a trendy talking point for the “my pillow” crowd, but in her quest to strip voting rights from a group of people, she doesn’t note that it has been tried before. And courts had held that you can’t do that.

I’d written about this topic back in 2016, and the same ruling from the US Supreme Court is still out there, last I’d checked, as per Dunn v. Blumstein:

Durational residence requirements completely bar from voting all residents not meeting the fixed durational standards. By denying some citizens the right to vote, such laws deprive them of ” `a fundamental political right, . . . preservative of all rights.


This exacting test is appropriate for another reason, never considered in Drueding: Tennessee’s durational residence laws classify bona fide residents on the basis of recent travel, penalizing those persons, and only those persons, who have gone from one jurisdiction to another during the qualifying period. Thus, the durational residence requirement directly impinges on the exercise of a second fundamental personal right, the right to travel.

“[F]reedom to travel throughout the United States has long been recognized as a basic right under the Constitution.”


In sum, durational residence laws must be measured by a strict equal protection test: they are unconstitutional unless the State can demonstrate that such laws are “necessary to promote a compelling governmental interest.


Preservation of the “purity of the ballot box” is a formidable-sounding state interest. The impurities feared, variously called “dual voting” and “colonization,” all involve voting by nonresidents, either singly or in groups. The main concern is that nonresidents will temporarily invade the State or county, falsely swear that they are residents to become eligible to vote, and, by voting, allow a candidate to win by fraud. Surely the prevention of such fraud is a legitimate and compelling government goal. But it is impossible to view durational residence requirements as necessary to achieve that state interest.

Read it all here.

The effort to preserve the “purity of the ballot box” by keeping those RV residents out has been attempted, and declared out of bounds by the US Supreme Court.  There are also those who consider these requirements to be violative of the equal protection clause.

There’s also the question of why on earth we would want to bar people from establishing residency in this state? If people who travel the country want to establish their home base here, pay license registration fees here, get a driver’s license here, after we market this state as having no state income tax, and low fees.. why would we then put up an artificial wall and declare we do not want them?

This is just bad policy. And an even worse campaign plank.

If we’re going to send someone to Pierre, it should be someone who speaks to our aspirations. Not on the basis of some ginned up xenophobia to outsiders.

29 thoughts on “SOS Candidate Monae Johnson tells delegates that if elected, her intent is to disenfranchise a group of voters”

  1. So she wants to make sure people live here to vote…oh no

    Vs our current secretary of state who wants online registration and online voting…hard pass

    1. They are US citizens that have no permanent home. They should get to vote, the only question is where. The mail forwarding address is usually the closest thing to home for them. They also tend to live here too. My neighbor uses a mail forwarding address because he moves to Arizona November- April but he lives here most of the year.

    1. And what exactly are the problems in South Dakota with our elections? Maybe you can point to some random mess up — but there’s no widespread issues in South Dakota. Much of that is attributed to decades of Republicans passing the laws, and from Republican Secretarys of State running the elections according to that law. Any of you whacky Mike Lindell followers should go look at another state. Allegations of corruption here are pure conspiracy theory led by guys like Dave Roetman. We’ve elected Trump and Noem and Republicans by the dozens in this state.

  2. Wow…disappointed in the hostility toward our RV residents/voters. Pat put it correctly, there are good reasons why people like to establish residency here but prefer to spend a lot of time traveling. And news flash: they vote republican in large numbers, largely because they pay attention to taxes and fees. So, you want Republicans to nominate a person who would disenfranchise Republican voters? Doesn’t make sense to me. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  3. Interesting, placing your DOMICILE in the state if your choice is a protected sovereign right. South Dakota, Florida, and Texas are tge 3 dominant domicile states people are submitting to.

    In order to understand this topic, you have to ubderstand the difference between DOMMICILE vs RESIDENCY. You can only hace one domicile but you can have more than one residence.

    I have written alot on tgis subject, and I agree, you do not want to restrict Americans from placing their domicile in S.D. But….

    I believe we need to adopt new laws as to how to safeguard our elections to restrict voting rights to only those Americans who lawfully have placed their domicile inside S.D. There are things we can do to safeguard our elections…

    All it it takes is 24 hours to claim a domicile on S.D, HOWEVER, the process of voting rights could take up to 30 days depending on how long it takes tiy to fully abd lawfully claim that domicile…the state requires a person to stay in a hotel or campground for 24 hors providing a reciept, obtain a lawful S.D address, while also obtaining a S.D driver license, obtain health insurance, a bank account, and transitioning all your documents to South Dakota. Basically, yoy need to lawfully transfer your soveriegnty to S.D.

    WE Need a SOS that will faithfully ensure that anyone placing their Domicile inside S.D DOES SO LEGALLY, and the SOS must as well make sure that person completely removed themselves from another states registry ad well.

    I would instead, change state law that states anyone who had changed their domicile to S.D Today, shall not vote in a STATE or Local election for at least 90 days or 3 mths. This would ensure that no one can vote in two states at one time, but also give tge SOS the amount of time to contact the persons previous state to make sure they are removed from that states voter registry.

    We should not ve stopping people from placing their domiciles in S.D, BUT because of reports that it canbbe done withing 24 hours, we can place further restrictions on period of which we allow a person to lawfully vote in S.D.

    PEOPLE are placing domiciles in S.D mostly mostly tax reasons, cause you would only owe sales and property taxes to S.D and no other state. Meaning anything tou buy in Minnesota, you can legally exempt yourself from their sales tax, but report tge transaction to S.D paying S.D sales tax.

    As for real property, by placing all your vehicles inside S.D, THE STATE takes ownership of tge vehicle, which of course means your property us vested in S.D, which means you must obtain S.D LICENSE plates (unless your Tribal Resident). That alone. Qualified yoy of owning property in S.D.

    HAVING A bank account in S.D or a Trust Acct. Also shows you are vested in S.D showing that all your INCOME flows to and from the State itself.

    Your Domicle is your sovereign home, it’s tge point where all roads lead back to, all your daily activities in and out of your domicile.

    If we Re to change anything, I would vote to place more restrictions on the time period the SOS is required to document and prove a person legally removed themselves from or state to S.D. And that process should take a minimum of 30 days to 90 days.

    But, RVrs should ve allowed to claim their domiciled in 24 hours regardless.

  4. There is a man from Sioux Falls that registered to vote in Spearfish. He swore under oath his primary residency is a garage on Colorado Blvd with no running water. Everyone in town knows it’s a lie. We really need to make this sort of activity illegal.

    1. There’s no secret here. The “man” being referenced here is none other than Tom Nelson. His so-called “residence” is a garage on Colorado Boulevard in Spearfish with no running water. I’m not an expert on the nuanced voter registration rules in South Dakota as to whether Tom can legally claim this uninhabitable building as his “residence.” However, as a practical matter, Tom is no more a “resident” of Spearfish/Lawrence than Elon Musk. Morally, Tom is behaving like the arrogant elitist RINO he is; his “residency” here is a sick joke and it’s Tom’s way of farting in the face of loyal Lawrence County GOP party members and supporters. I’m appalled and disheartened that no one at the Secretary of State’s office, the AG’s office, nor our local Auditor’s Office has had the moral courage to publicly challenge Tom Nelson about this and investigate the details and his motives. In my opinion, Nelson should be made a poster-boy for intentionally morally skirting, if not possibly breaking the rules, regarding one’s actual place of residence.

      1. Have you done a formal complaint to any of these offices?

        If not and it is warranted you should.

        1. You are assuming facts not in evidence. This matter of Tom Nelson BS’
          ing his residency here in Spearfish HAS been brought to the attention of several bureaucracies; no one has done a damn thing. It’s revolting and wrong.

          1. He is perfectly legal so long as he has a DOMICILE inside South Dakota which requires him to obtain:

            a. S.D Driver License
            b. Bank Account Established in South Dakota
            c. Residential Address, Proof of Rent Payment
            d. Car Insurance, Health Insurance, etc in South Dakota.
            e. Registerered as a South Dakota Voter.
            f. Transferred All his Legal Documents to South Dakota.

            It matters not where or how many ‘residencies’ he has in the United States. ALL his MAIL comes thru South Dakota, while is forwarded to his current residence as he “Travels” the 50 States.

            That is all it takes folks.

  5. First yes it would be my preference to not have the RV voters vote in South Dakota unless they actually…you know…Live Here.

    But – that’s illegal.

    Until Dunn v Blumstein is overturned, and it’s been upheld multiple times since 1971, it will remain illegal.
    A candidate putting this out as something they want to do means one of three things:
    They don’t know that what they are suggesting has been ruled as unconstitutional.
    They know that what they are proposing has been ruled as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court and want to send this back to the Court as a test case to overturn this.
    They know that what they are proposing has been ruled as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court and are hoping that they can fool enough voters to support them anyway because it sounds good to a segment of the electorate.

    The first and third options should discourage pretty much anyone’s support. Either they don’t understand election law or they are a con artist looking for an elected office.
    The middle option may or may not be a good thing, but if they are in office they are signing the state up for a multi-year most likely multi-million dollar Supreme Court fight that is best case a coin toss to working or not.

    1. Why do we care if they are only voting in SD?

      If this is where they want to vote and pay their taxes why are we opposed to them? Say, I sell my house and buy an RV to travel in… does that mean I can’t vote in SD anymore? Even though I don’t live anywhere else other than the road?

      1. Personally – it’s because I’m a big fan of local control.
        I want the people who live in any given community to be the ones who are deciding who governs it.
        Because the people who are voting for the city government in Brookings should live in Brookings.
        The people voting for the school board in Rapid City should live in Rapid city.
        The people voting for the Representatives and Senators going to Pierre should live in their respective districts.
        The people who are voting for statewide offices like Governor, PUC, etc. should live in the state that they are voting on.
        The people who are voting for statewide initiated measures and amendments should actually be the people who are going to live under those laws and amendments.
        I want the people who are going to have to live with the consequences of their votes to be the ones voting, not people who might literally do nothing more than drive through the state once a year to pick up their mail at a P.O. box.

        When we are talking about votes for what group of clowns are going to Washington – I’m concerned about that because they govern the whole country, and if we were talking about people who could ONLY vote for the Federal elections I’d be less concerned.

    2. We can get this changed in 2024 when Trump is re-elected. We can finally be free, put every democrat and RINO in prison and disperse their money to the top 1% of earners for trickle down effects. We can stop these elections all together after that, there is too much corruption anyway to continue. After this, it won’t be long before Jesus comes back to save us.

  6. I got the letter at 10:00 AM from my mail man who also is the Mayor of Eureka, SD. Great guy who probably should be in the SD Hall of Fame for reasons way beyond making money and turf and hamburgers in SF, where he once lived. We’ve got lots of local heroes out here on the edge of things who don’t want or need credit for changing lives positively.
    Talking about Steve Barnett now; he’s the guy who you want making sure elections and State paid mileage to Legislators and IM’s are spot on. Inside baseball story on legislative mileage. Ask me about it next weekend in Watertown.

    1. Charlie — interesting as you voted against Barnetts online voter registration bill HB 1271 in 2021. Do you now support Barnetts efforts?

      1. For the record I also killed a bill in 2021 (helped kill) which would have turned the SOS in a beggars office with no fee structure.
        It could be a tight contest as I do not know Monae nor how hard she has been working delegates.

  7. Monae is nice. I like her, but it doesn’t mean she should be Secretary of State. Is she running because she’s being propped up by someone on the far right? And she worked for several Secretarys of State but didn’t Krebs let her work in her own office in Rapid City answering the phone? I’m just trying to figure out if she’s running because she’s being pushed by someone on the right or if it’s a sour grapes thing, or what’s going on. Because Steve Barnett is a good SoS and our elections have been run well. I just can’t see where anyone could complain about our elections being corrupt.

    1. I don’t agree that Steve Barnett is a good sec of state. Have you ever actually talked to him about hos job? He doesn’t know it.

      The auditors do not support h amd want someone new. This has nothing to do with far right, right or establishment…it has to do with competance!

  8. Did Trump lose fair and square or was it rigged and stolen is basically what you are deciding here. Monae’s crowd believes the election was stolen vs everything else. It might be a convention for the ages!

    1. Yes – it’s nutty. They are mad about the 2020 election. But look at the results in South Dakota. Trump won handily. They appear to be looking to take their frustrations out on somebody. So they find Monae to prop up.

  9. Mr. Barnett is a swell fellow, and this Ms. Monae person is insaner than most. Nobody cares about legislative miles or that other rot they should not be paid at all for, what people care about is being a card-carrying South Dakotan to vote.

    And Mr. Zitterich, I suspect a number of your pals are unbankable so under your rules they can’t vote.

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