Minnehaha County leaders hope to fix ballot mistakes in time for - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Minnehaha County leaders hope to fix ballot mistakes in time for the general election

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A Minnehaha County commissioner hopes we've seen the last of a series of blunders at the ballot box, and he's not afraid to say where he thinks the problem starts.

KSFY News spoke with the commissioner making the complaints, and the man he holds responsible.

Minnehaha County commissioner Jeff Barth and county auditor Bob Litz told KSFY News about some of the mistakes that happened during the recent Sioux Falls city election and state primary.

Both are clearly unhappy with each other, but for different reasons.

A few glitches and mistakes in two recent elections may have had some voters confused about the process.

Minnehaha County commissioner Jeff Barth said "when a husband and wife are directed to vote in different precincts, it could potentially affect elections."

And that has Barth concerned.

"There's one precinct woman race where she lost 37 to 35, so if it happened that that husband and wife voted in a different precinct, that could change that kind of a result," Barth said.

The man responsible for what goes on at the polls in Minnehaha County is auditor Bob Litz.

"I'd like to focus on the things that we can do positively for moving forward out of this, and to that end, Wednesday, I have contacted Secretary of State Jason Gant. I've contacted Lorie Hogstad from the city elections and also Bev Chase from school elections. We're going to get together very soon and look for some resolutions to some of these problems that we have," Litz said.

Barth believes Litz allegedly violated a state statute in changing the boundaries of a legislative district without the approval of the state legislature.

"That's not accurate. They were redrawn at the 2010 legislative census redistricting, and that's the state law that determines those boundaries," Litz said.

"I believe we do have discouraged voters. I know in the city election people were confused. People were confused in this one as well [primary election] and we need to communicate better with our citizens about where to go and the citizens need to pay close attention," Barth said.

"We know we've got issues and work with the Secretary of State, the city of Sioux Falls and the Sioux Falls school district, and any other auditor in the state of South Dakota. We want to get these problems resolved and put the credibility back in our elections. Going forward we want to stay positive and stay on that track and that's my goal," Litz said.

Litz said he has ordered an audit of all 118,000 voters in Minnehaha County, to go through every voter registration and address to make the election spotless in November.

Despite their differences, the county commissioner hopes the November general election goes on without a hitch.

Barth said that would be a great step forward.
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