Not only does our Mayor HATE transparency and openness in local government, but now he is actively supporting voter suppression.
Trust me, I was pretty shocked that the SD ACLU got involved, when we pointed out the irregularities in the School Bond vote (super precincts in only the southern part of town and hand counting by finance staff) they virtually ignored us. This time thankfully they are stepping up;
The government should never require citizens to play roulette with their health in order to vote. That’s why we’re pushing Mayor TenHaken to think creatively and work with County Auditor Bob Litz to install additional ballot drop boxes ahead of the November Election
BACKGROUND: Recently, the city of Sioux Falls denied Minnehaha County Auditor Bob Litz’ request to place absentee ballot drop boxes at five Sioux Falls libraries. While Siouxland Libraries is jointly operated between the city and the county, Sioux Falls City Hall has authority of the libraries located within city limits.
TenHaken’s reasoning for the denial was a lack of time to iron out the necessary security details. The Mayor and his team can do better.
Defenders of the mayor have said that ‘He actually has utterly nothing to do with the November election.’ They are correct on that point, and I have told Auditor Litz in person that he is in charge of the election and has wide authority. The problem? He has to have permission from the city’s top executive to place the drop boxes on city owned property. Despite what others are saying, Bob did ‘ask’ the city for that permission. I asked Bob, “Why is the mayor so against your proposal?” Bob figures he was mad because he wasn’t included in the plan. But this is where Bob made a great point, and I am paraphrasing, “If I would have asked permission from the city before putting together a plan, they would have said to me, come back with a plan. So I did the legwork and worked up a plan before I asked.” You would have thought the mayor would have been appreciative. Nope. When Bob said the city doesn’t have the ‘stones’ to move forward, I’m guessing he was talking about the chief executive, who I have argued does have ‘stones’ mostly in his head. The mayor didn’t even have the leadership and courage to contact Bob himself in an email or phone call, he had one of his communications minions tell Bob NO.
As for the security issues, first off, they could have had a couple hour meeting with the chief of police, the sheriff and the risk manager and worked out those details. As for people stealing a drop box, highly unlikely. They would have been secured to the ground and under 24/7 camera and light surveillance and most likely emptied each day. Also, take into account that stealing ballots is a crime that has some hefty penalties. And even then, what would be the point? You would be stealing ballots from both sides, so it would serve no nefarious purpose.
This is just part of a larger right-wing wacko conspiracy theory that drop boxes and voting by mail is riddled with fraud. This has been proven to not be the case.
I encourage the city council to put a resolution together to make it happen, we still have almost 20 days to get it done.
I don’t know if I am more disappointed in the mayor for believing such nutty theories or that he supports blatant voter suppression. Auditor Litz is right, grow a pair and while your are at it, a brain.