Litz responds to call for resignation

Sioux Falls- Minnehaha County Auditor Bob Litz is under fire from the Argus Leader for the delay with Tuesday's ballot counting.

This Thursday, the Argus editorial board called for Litz to step down from his position, or for the South Dakota Secretary of State to intervene.

Minnehaha County-the largest county in South Dakota-did not finish tallying all of the ballots until Wednesday morning, leaving many candidates and their supports for a long night to ponder the fate of their race.

"There were a few close races out there and just the frustration of everyone waiting for those end results, I was waiting for results too and went to bed," Minnehaha County Commissioner Cindy Heiberger said.

While the wait was frustrating for many, voting officials say speed is not their primary concern.
"Most importantly we have to make sure we have an accurate count. And time, we live in a world where we want an answer right now, but accuracy is always the most important when you're talking about safety and security of a ballot," Newly elected SD Secretary of State Shantel Krebs said.

"We're confident in the accuracy of the election, and everyone kept their spirits up despite being there a along time. We don't want to be there a long time either, and if the local paper happens to miss their publishing time, I'm sorry but that's the way it is. I would much rather have accurate results than immediate results," Minnehaha County Auditor Bob Litz said.

Even so, Litz says he will be working to improve the speed of county ballots on election night.

"Will we strive to get that speed up there, yes we will; will we get it eventually, yes we will," Litz said.

Krebs says one way to do that all over the state is to learn from mistakes.

"I know that Bob Litz has been taking some heat, but really in all respect, he did the best he could; there are some things we could do differently, and I think it's important to share that with other auditors so we don't have it happen again," Krebs said.

"I'm not sure the issues that happened yesterday are completely his fault, so I think that's why we have to look into it and see what exactly the reasons were and figure out why it took so long to have these ballots recreated," Heiberger said.

Some of the proposed changes include purchasing a third ballot counting machine to handle the absentee ballots-one of the main cause of delays Tuesday night.