SFSD claims they only basically spent $7,000 on election

Just when you thought the 85% passage of the bond was a little questionable, the zingers keep coming from the district, this one is golden;

And the district used a new, computerized voter check-in system to verify registered voters and poll books throughout the day, which cost about $38,000 from a vendor called Everyone Counts. It was included in the overall $45,000 price of the election, Konrad said.

So what Konrad is basically saying is that after purchasing software for the E-Poll books from Everyone Counts, they only spent $7,000 on everything else. What is everything else?

  • Printing Ballots
  • Paying poll workers not just for the day of the election but training
  • Transporting Ballots
  • Rental fees associated with voting centers
  • Office supplies needed to run election

Either Konrad got the math wrong or they dipped into regular school budget, but there is NO way in Heckluva they ran an election, even with 13 precincts for $7,000.

Besides the supposed thrifty nature of the SFSD (they should really do seminars on how to save so much money running an election) they didn’t seem to think poll watchers were needed;

Poll watchers were the responsibility of the campaign parties if the district wasn’t going to employ them, but no one checked in at any voting location to say they were poll watchers on Election Day, district spokeswoman DeeAnn Konrad said.

Why on earth would the political parties send in poll watchers for a BOND (non-partisan) election?! YES, it was your responsibility to put a call out to the political parties to bring in these volunteers (paid or otherwise). Baffling.

We didn’t have any issues with it being hand counted (though machine tabulation would have been better) We have an issue with WHO counted it;

As far as district employees counting ballots goes, district spokeswoman and ballot counter Carly Uthe, acknowledged most counters were tied to the district with few volunteers.

Uthe also said each counter was required to go through training beforehand and to sign an oath ahead of time, swearing counters and election officials would abide by election laws.

Konrad presented copies of the signed oaths to the Argus Leader on Wednesday.

“The oath says,’I will abide by the Constitution of the United States,” Konrad said. “There’s no wiggle room there.”

It would have looked WAY more ethical if you would have used volunteers. Not sure what swearing on the US Constitution has to do with counting ballots, I guess I missed that part in Civics class. But even if they used district employees to count the ballots, it was the final step that concerned us. From watching Mallory’s video, it looks to me that after a stack is counted that number is written down on a piece of paper and given to 2 SFSD district administrators, Morrison and Kreiter. Were these pieces of paper saved so they could be audited?

Ultimately, there isn’t much legally we can do to investigate how they ran the election. They did follow state law(s). But if the SFSD really wants to put this to bed, they would allow an independent group to examine the ballots and recount them. It also would be helpful to get a demonstration on how the software worked. Until this election can be properly audited, any excuses the SFSD has doesn’t mean a hill of beans.



5 comments ↓

#1 D@ily Spin on 09.21.18 at 9:36 am

Most everything about this election is questionable. Now, there’s follow up propaganda. They burned the ballots. It’s like cremating the body so there’s no evidence of poisoning.

#2 DAN on 09.21.18 at 12:09 pm

Thanks for reporting on this. While I have commented in the past on this, one thing I also noticed when I voted at IPC was Morrison in room. I am glad he had time during the school day to drift into the election site. Was his salary or those of the others who did this during the day included in the $7,000 figure. It is just too easy for them to spend other peoples money.

#3 l3wis on 09.21.18 at 12:27 pm

That’s my question. Is Konrad including wages into this figure, that HAS to be a part of it. There really needs to be an independent audit of the election. Where is our AG and SOS when we need them to do the important work?

#4 l3wis on 09.21.18 at 12:30 pm

Also, while it is a Freedom of Speech issue, I still found it interesting that Maher who is supposed to be neutral gave $1,000 to the Vote Yes.

I’m extremely disappointed in myself and the media for covering the financials until after the election;

https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/education/2018/09/20/sioux-falls-school-district-bond-election-campaign-raised-funds/1371178002/

#5 Bored in Rapid on 09.22.18 at 10:06 am

Does this include an in-kind-contribution from Vladimir? That’s a separate category, I know…. 😉

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