Update on the staff changes in the Secretary of State’s office

Rumors from my spies in the State Capital (Don’t set it in stone yet, as this is just what I’m hearing) is that newly sworn Secretary of State Monae Johnson is wasting no time after last Friday’s series of pre-Christmas firings, and in the process of putting her new hires in place at the office, specifically in the Elections Department.

I’m told today that the new Director of Elections will be Elaine Jensen, whom I believe had been at the office previously, and is a former Butte County Auditor.

Another hire might just be a shift of positions (checking on that), but I’m told the most recognizable hire in the elections office is Logan Manhart, who had been a candidate for District 1 State House this past election. You’ll probably recognize the name as he had withdrew when it was determined that he had not been a resident of the state for two years.

I’ll update this as I hear more.

29 thoughts on “Update on the staff changes in the Secretary of State’s office”

  1. Logan at the SOS office. That was something I didnt expect being that he was at the Barnett thank you at Seven Lust Automotive in Aberdeen right after the convention. Mr Manhart claimed to me that he was upset with what went down. If he is working for the new SOS office, that appears he was appealing to the masses and the crowd that was in front of him

      1. Because most people do not pay that close attention to low level politics like Brown Co Commission and go on name recognition only. And honestly he still rides his granddaddy’s coattails.

    1. Or he is a team player and actually supporting the winner…..unlike the whiners of the losing candudate on here

    2. I guess this explains why no one answers the phone at the Secretary of State‘s office. Try calling the Business Services office with a question – I’ve been calling for the last three days and no one picks up the phone.

      I understand these are political offices, but they also must function for the general public with business questions.

  2. The shake up in the Secretary of State Office is ok with me. People forget, these “administrations” should not be long term jobs, let alone should actually change every two years, as part of our election cycle. This is the check and balance ability of the people as they wish to govern over the ‘state” itself. The State Govt is NOT above the people here. it was created by the people as landowners, property holders, Americans to pool their assets to form the “republic” itself. We aligned the Republic in 687 precincts, allowing groups of people to best manage themselves, their land, their properties at a local level.

    While the Republican Party Establishment views this shake up as a negative, many people see it as quite the opposite as we wish to steer state and local politics into the future. That is the beauty of the American Style of Government. “WE” can change the process, change the government, change the people at any time of which controversies occur, or difference in political opinion begin to occur.

    This is why our founders established the infamous 2 Year Election Cycle – to change our government as frequently as necessary to maintain a balanced, respectful, and proper governing process in the best interests of ALL people making up the State.

    I have been a life long Republican since I turned the age of 18 – I have had a passion to not only help inform people, but to help educate people on our governing process. I am not necessary bound to the party, as much as I am bound to my sovereignty, property rights, business contracts, etc as they relate to the people within my county, my district, my precinct.

    687 Different sects of people, different opinions, motives, and ideals, let alone morals, values, and responsibilities to each other. The issues concerning Watertown are not the same issues of concern in Sioux Falls or Rapid City, let alone, the issues of concern of east or west South Dakota vary, let alone you have the Urban vs Rural concerns as well.

    My job is to voice those concerns from my area, making known the differences in opinion with other counties, districts, precincts. We all act as one as to create Public Policy as a State, where we cannot agree, laws cannot be formed, adopted, let alone enforced.

    People forget “WE” do NOT need to meet every year, nor agree to adopt a law every year. The Legislature is at the mercy of the people, and the people have the right to change their mind, often, as often as they have to to change policy, opinions of the legislature.

    While the more established wing of the “party” disagrees with the motives of the people that led to the election of Monae Johnson, lets remember it also took a majority of those Precincts to sit down, discuss, nominate, and vote for a common person of choice.

    The establishment seems to not like change, but change is good for how the country, let alone the state moves forward. If you cannot accept change, you may as well pack it in. If you cannot accept differences of opinion as it relates to all areas of the State, then you are in the wrong business.

    The way I see it, is that several parts of the State have issues related to our election process, many are questioning related controversies in other states, let alone opinions of this State from within. What is so wrong with changing the guard within the party?

    Are we beholden to the “party” or are we beholden to common everyday morals, values, desires of the “Citizens” of whom make up the State itself?

    As the legislature now attempts to change the rules, I urge legislators such as Mr. Lee Schoenbeck to see why the people elected who they chose, versus trying to fight the movement itself..The Rules are fine, the party may be evolving from previous established policies, let alone establishment politics in general. I guess this fear is causing friction.

    When you fear change, you become an enemy of the State, for the people have the means of forcing change, and that concept alone scares ‘established party stewards’.

    “WE” are re-organizing the State, and to some, they may not like that concept.

    What is so wrong with placing NEW people in the Public Office of the Secretary of State?

    That fear of the unknown seems to be a dagger between the Establishment vs those People wishing to push for more transparency, honesty, and a more commitment to better governing processes.

    The “Government” is not the boss here the “People” are the boss ,and that may scare a small group of men and women in Pierre-SD who feel their jobs are on the line. That fear is a positive of course, for it forces the government to listen to the people above all.

    People want answers, they want to better understands Election Controversies between South Dakota vs Arizona, let alone other States for that matter. THEY are demanding audits, reviews, and questions to be asked of the public offices, and for that, our Public Offices are changed by the people, in the best interests of the people.

    The more the party fights this concept, the worse the party will become tomorrow.

    “WE” have to find common agreement, better means of governing, let alone holding the government accountable. The LEGISLATURE in South Dakota is NOT the know all, see all, let alone the “government” itself, it is a small group of the PEOPLE, of whom been elected to voice the concerns as they relate to individual groups of people.

    People are attacking the Precinct Committee men and women for voting for this change, by threatening to force those precincts from the discussion of choosing their At-Large Reps you only destroy the means of create positive law, rules, and policies.

    The residents of UNITYVILLE-SD do not need to agree with the residents of SIoux Falls, and the residents of Unityville may vote for who they want to represent them in means of precincts, who they send to vote for who they desire to elect as an At-Large Rep.

    The Establishment is very mad right now, but over time, that madness will recede, the more we allow for public debates, changes to occur, a new concept can be born.

    “WE” owe it to all 887,000 Domiciled Citizens of this State to ensure that their voices are heard, protected, from those ‘residents’ who may or may not be voting twice. Once in S.D and once in Arizona. If the two states have common residencies, and Arizona allows you to register to vote on election day, how do we know for sure that OUR Domiciled Residetns are not traveling to their residence in Arizona to vote on Election Day?

    The PEOPLE want answers, and because of that, “THEY” forced this chance to occur.

    The Secretary of State Office is tasked with protecting our Domiciles, Master Voter File, all of our important documents, the constitution, the laws of this State, all commercial instruments of the people of this state. The PEOPLE did speak.

    While the Republicans nominated Monae at the convention, and Democrats chose to nominate their man at their convention, the PEOPLE overwhelmingly maintained Republican RULE in this State, and for that, “YOU” must respect the will of the people.

    Respectfully, My Thoughts on this Public Matter,
    Mike Zitterich
    Precinct 05-22

    1. Sir: Thank you for the time and effort you put into this post. You have written a lot of thoughts I have, but have not had the time or patience to actually type out! Change IS good AND in a lot of cases, badly needed. I give you Maxine Waters, Patrick Leahy, Dianne Feinstein and many others in Washington who have gone past serving the people to helping themselves! I’m glad for the time limits here in South Dakota.
      I am a Catholic who believes in the precepts of the church in which I was raised and participated…unfortunately, it has changed. I do not respect this Pope, cardinals, bishops and priests who allow parishioners to receive communion whom they know support the murder of the unborn and the abuse of children.
      I feel the same about the Republican Party. I agree with the platform, but unfortunately, only a small percentage of those in South Dakota’s legislature follow the platform based on my observation of the past seven years of voting. This election’s over so we’ll have to deal with the “Judas Republicans” who were returned to office for the next two years.

    1. Let the people so strongly convinced that there is election fraud here be put in charge of finding it. Then when they can’t find any, they can be accused of corruption. Get some popcorn and enjoy the show.

      One thing about the staff shakeup though, is that my experience in various workplaces has been that it is the people on the lower rungs of the ladder who know exactly who is doing the work and who isn’t, and who is taking credit for the work of others, or blaming other people for their own mistakes. The people at the top never seem to know or care what’s really going on. So we should just keep that in mind.

      1. I do not believe of us have denied anything. Your Media loves to manipulate reality. Not conceding an election based on claims that there are errors, or irregularities is one thing, denying is another thing. What we are asking for from “Government” is the facts, and the law, the process of knowing who and who is not a qualified voter.

        I have not denied anything, I am wanting to give the people what they want. I drafted and lobbied a “resolution” asking the HOUSE to initialize a Audit, Review, and Public Hearing to discuss all things of public interest.

        What I am asking for is for the Legislature to in a committee, review our statewide list of Domiciled Citizens, comparing them to our Statewide Master Voter File to ensure that the two lists match, then to review and audit the ballots delivered to the Election Polls/Auditor, which will tell us if any of our domiciles end up voting in other state would be a crime.

        I guess people like you claim we do to have to do investigations, I guess to you people, we are NOT allowed to hold other states accountable.

        1. are you bringing up the RV-ers again? It’s legal for them to claim residency and vote here.

          1. Why is your thoughts only in reference to RV”ers. I KNOW the law, and I understand the COURT rulings on the matter. Yes, YOU have the right to “RESIDE” in all 50 States. IT is lawful.

            What is NOT LEGAL is to claim to “Domiciles”

            Meaning, I can place my Domicile in South Dakota, my Main Residence, my Loyalty, my Citizenship is of South Dakota Citizen.

            I can reside in Arizona by renting an Apartment or owning a Home in that State. Let alone, a RV’er can domicile themselves in S.D while residing in ALL 50 States of the Union.

            What you cannot do is “VOTE” or become a Qualified Voter in more than 1 state.

            However, Arizona allows ALL “residents” to register to vote on Election Day. This allows people to quickly register, vote, before the Secretary of State can confirm, assess, and to verify you have completely removed yourself from another State’s Voter List, let alone are NOT domiciled in another State.

            Mark my words, I have NO PROBLEM with any American residing in 2 or more states. I have a problem with them attempting to cheat, conspire, scheme to vote in more than one state.

            That, under South Dakota LAW is unlawful, and if the S.D SOS finds out, upon an investigation, or a claim made by another citizen presents a “Controversy” between Two States, let alone a Group of States, such as in 2020 whereas we had an issue with 6 States who seemingly conspired together to create an Election Scheme related to their Mail Ballots.

            IF those States are NOT going to hold themselves accountable, SOUTH DAKOTA and any coalition of States can join together to HOLD them Accountable upon conducting their own investigations within their states where as “THEY” may have common residencies between Americans

            Obviously, you you do believe that states do not cheat or you believe people are honest.

            I just had a conversation on Facebook a week ago, whereas some guy just claimed that he resides in Both South Dakota and Arizona and he has voted in both states. And he claimed Shantal Krebs told him it was legal, despite state law says you can only vote once…

            But I guess, you do not believe in conducting investigations….so we are at a standstill. I guess you beleive investigations are a waste of time.

  3. South Dakota Board of Elections should be notified of this, specifically Linda Lee Viken, as the longest serving member on the board. It is unacceptable to have somebody that participated in January 6th working in the Elections Department of the Secretary of State‘s office.

  4. Things are going from bad to worse at the SOS office. Monae Johnson should just resign and save the party the embarrassment that is about to ensue.

      1. No truer statement could be said!

        But even though nelson got bounced they made sure to move dusty to get nelson a job on puc

  5. If the Board of Elections provides oversight for the Secretary of States office, they’ve got their work cut out for them.

      1. “We need to make sure the voter roles are accurate and only people who are SD citizens vote in SD elections”

        Democrats: “That’s racist/white privilege/fascist/homophobic/transphobic/xenophobic/phobicphobic…blah blah blah.”

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