Committee reviews Minnehaha County 2014 election issues

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SIOUX FALLS - The elections of 2014 are a memory for most of us but seven people in Minnehaha County haven't forgotten the blunders at the ballot box.

The Minnehaha County Election Review Committee is looking at the issues voters faced.

The committee retraced the steps along the electronic trail of voter registration data, and they believe they found a source for some of the confusion.

Wrong ballots, voters being told they're not registered or that they're at the wrong polling place are just a few of the mistakes during the elections in Minnehaha County in 2014.

Minnehaha County Election Review Committee chairman Bruce Danielson said "what we've been having so far is a lot of blame going around, and what we're trying to do in this process is get rid of the blame game."

Danielson recognizes the source of the confusion.

"If there was actually some way to go back and see if the data which had been repaired by the county auditors, actually stayed repaired because we found thousands of records that had been modified at the state level, leaving us at the local level, having data that wasn't consistent anymore," Danielson said.

The inconsistency caused problems for voters and the man responsible for the integrity of our elections, Minnehaha County auditor Bob Litz.

"That's been a huge one to me, because voters are being told to go to the wrong place, that's the database that we depend on, wrong ballots are getting sent out, because of the information we get off of that," Litz said.

"Everything that we're doing in the election review commitee so far, we are just building a set of recommendations that we can give to the county commission, auditor bob litz, and to Secretary of State Shantel Krebs," Danielson said.

Concerned voter Joy Howe said "I believe they are not addressing the elephant in the room, the biggest problem with the elections, whether it's in Minnehaha County, or the state of South Dakota, or the United States, is who counts the ballots."

Another computer error they discovered was something caused the system to re-write some voter's addresses, yet those changes weren't audited or verified to be correct.

It's why the committee wants an audit trail.

"That if the state needs to update data in the future, that we actually have a process in place that allows the local auditor to approve the update before it's put into place," Danielson said.

ffixes, that what we want is fixes. That's what I've been looking for. I welcome this here, I'm not afraid. I don't have anything to hide. I've got everything to gain, so let's do it," Litz said.

The committee hopes to fix these issues by working together with the county auditor and Secretary of State.