I first saw this in the past city election and now with the failure of IM 27 that for some reason, Minnehaha County residents, mostly Sioux Falls, are not showing up to vote;

What the data does show, though, is a trend.

  • For whatever reason – likely, a complex variety of factors – the number of ballots cast in local midterm elections is increasing at a much slower rate than both the number of people registered to vote and the number of people coming to Sioux Falls in general.
  • Looking at turnout percentages, it also shows Lincoln County voters turnout at a higher rate than Minnehaha County voters and overall voters statewide.
  • Minnehaha County voters saw the steepest decline in turnout, dropping below the overall statewide turnout in the last decade.

I am not sure why more people are choosing to not vote in Sioux Falls, MC. I think the rhetoric over the past few years about your vote not counting is discouraging voters, we saw this with IM 27. I have no doubt in my mind that if it would have passed, the legislature would have gutted it to nothing, I think voters assumed that.

I have told people that if the county promoted more ways to absentee vote, the numbers would rise.

This was the scene about 4:30 yesterday at the election center in Downtown Sioux Falls (photos by Theresa Stehly) the line was several blocks long.

This of course could have been avoided a couple of different ways;

• Do what I have done for almost a decade, vote as soon as early voting starts. I believe I voted about a week after it started and there was about 3 people voting when I walked in. I have done this for a long time because I got tired of the musical precincts in every local election (something else that should end, another form of vote suppression).

• We should mail every registered voter a ballot, NOT an application, in at least state and national elections.

• We should have dozens of drop boxes available throughout the county at city and county properties (this of course would be possible if we didn’t have a political hack as the mayor of Sioux Falls who belongs to a party that promotes voter suppression).

What is crazy is that while we hand out $20 million dollar TIF’s and build $26 million dollar mural substrates, we can surely afford to make voting easier.

We live in a great country that allows us to choose our officials, but we make it really f’ing hard, even right here in South Dakota. I never thought I would see the day that people had to stand in this long of a line in Sioux Falls to vote. These pictures made me very sad.

****Note; if you have not mailed your ballot in yet DO NOT! I won’t make it to the election center by Tuesday. Drop it off in person or have a friend do it for you!

Cameraman Bruce has been crunching the latest numbers when it comes to ‘Likely’ voters in Sioux Falls. While we have much more data coming, some of the early results show of the approximately 17,000 consistent households that vote, only 3,000 are in Lincoln County. For all the talk of a “fast’ growing Lincoln County, the Sioux Falls resident voters still don’t like to vote in local elections.

It also seems that $100K VOTE YES for Schools campaign was able to encourage a lot of first time voters or people who rarely vote.


Downtown Sioux Falls businesses are partnering with local non-profit organization Leaders Engaged and Determined (LEAD) South Dakota to launch a voter registration campaign to take place from September 25-October 22, 2018.

The campaign involves more than a dozen businesses in downtown Sioux Falls and is part of National Voter Registration Day. While visiting a participating business, patrons can register to vote with employees equipped to assist in the registration process. By making voter registration easier, LEAD is hoping to encourage any unregistered citizens to get involved in the democratic process.

Downtown Sioux Falls business owners are excited to engage patrons on a local level.

“Community involvement is important because if you want to change the world, you need to think global and act local,” said Brian Gochal, owner of Vishnu Bunny Tattoo. “We can’t wait for someone else to make the world a better place.”

“We believe that it’s important for South Dakotans to be registered to vote because elected officials make decisions that impact all of our lives,” said Susan Kroger, co-chair and founding member of LEAD. “By having the information and means to register at downtown businesses, we’re hoping to make it easier for people to participate.”

The campaign kicks off on Tuesday, September 25 which is also National Voter Registration Day.


Founded in 2016, LEAD South Dakota exists to foster a bipartisan community of individuals who empower and encourage positive change for women and families in South Dakota. For more information or LEAD South Dakota’s work, please visit www.leadsouthdakota.org.

This post written and prepared by Bruce Danielson

The incompetence of South Dakota Democratic Party always amazes.

Bob Mercer keeps an eye on South Dakota political dynamics like no one else from his perch in Pierre. He once again let all know the latest SD Secretary of State TotalVote party affiliation counts. These show the continuing demise of the Democratic Party.

With 2018 passage of and soon to be law, our esteemed legislators (including every Dem) gave permission with HB 1011 for Shantel Krebs to purge thousands of voters. Under the ”leadership” of Anne Tornberg, the Democratic Party has accepted its future of decline.

Instead of finding a way to get more people to vote, the “leadership” has decided it is better to allow fewer voters? Tornberg has never fought for the average voter to be involved and this is just another example.

Look at the list of counties Mercer highlighted: Lawrence, Brookings, Lincoln, Pennington and Union counties. All of them, once upon a time consistently purple or blue counties. Under the Democrats current failed “leadership”, the party has become the GOP-lite party of stale ideas of me-tooism. The situation is so bad, the few Democrats in the Legislature voted with the GOP to allow a questionably ethical SOS to purge even more voters from the rolls when they accepted HP 1011.

Look at another questionable decision by the head of the state Democratic Party, the interference in the 2018 Sioux Falls city election. It added to the problems the losing candidate already had to overcome.

Leadership is not just running an organization making decisions based on your own limited experiences. Just showing up does not make you a leader. How did the current management of the party get their jobs anyway?

The current “leadership” of the Democratic Party has decided it is better to fail under their control, than to work with others to build a party where more have a voice. The party of inclusiveness has in South Dakota now become the party of bankrupt ideas. Then again, are there any ideas? What’s the use of trying to have a multi-party state when “leadership” incompetence prevails. Rudderless ships don’t go very far before they sink.

Voter registration trend continues

May 23, 2018 by Bob Mercer.

Call them the “third column.” Heading into the June 5 statewide election, independent and no-party voters now rank second in 11 counties.

There are more “third-column” voters registered than Democrats in Butte, Lawrence, Pennington, Meade, Custer, Fall River, Brookings, Lincoln and Union counties.

There are more third-column than Republicans in heavily Democratic counties of Oglala Lakota and Todd.

Together they’re one-sixth of South Dakota’s 66 counties.

Statewide, registrations as of Wednesday were 156,405 Democrats; 249,932 Republicans; 121,478 independents and NPAs; 471 Constitutionalists; 1,722 Libertarians; and 791 others.

The spread 10 years ago for the November general election? 204,413 Democrats; 241,528 Republicans; and 83,147 independents and others.

As if we didn’t have enough things to follow in this past legislature, we have this act requiring the SOS Office to purge more voters from the rolls in a shorter time period? The interesting part of this, no one from either party thought it was a bad idea? Have any of you seen the ridiculous card the auditors send out? The previous requirement was eight years.

Lawmakers approve changes untouched for counties on voter confirmation process

BOB MERCER Journal correspondent – Jan 25, 2018

PIERRE | The state Senate gave final legislative approval Thursday to changes Secretary of State Shantel Krebs seeks for South Dakota’s voter-confirmation process.

The 32-0 vote sends HB 1011 to the governor’s desk for Dennis Daugaard’s decision whether it becomes law.

The proposal didn’t attract a nay its entire way through the legislative process, via two committees, the House and the Senate, where it passed on the consent calendar.

There weren’t any amendments either.

The process currently calls for county auditors to check every odd-numbered year for registered voters who haven’t been active in the previous four years. The auditors take a series of steps for those voters between Jan. 1 and Nov. 15.

That part of the process doesn’t change. HB 1011 formally establishes two requirements.

What they are

First, a county auditor would send a national change of address notice to each voter in the active file who has failed to vote in the previous four years.

This section covers voters who haven’t updated registration information, haven’t replied to a confirmation mailing at least once in the previous four years and haven’t had a change of address with the U.S. Post Office.

The second section covers what are known as confirmation mailing notices. The legislation says the notice is a double postcard explaining the voter’s registration may be canceled if the card isn’t signed and returned.

There will be other information on the postcard about changing the address and re-registering if the voter moved to another county or state.

Kea Warne, the deputy secretary of state for elections, presented the bill Wednesday to the Senate Local Government Committee.

The panel voted 6-0 to recommend passage on a motion made by Sen. Ryan Maher, R-Isabel, and seconded by Sen. Kevin Killer, D-Pine Ridge.

Here are PDF Docs of the bills; HB1011ENR, HB1011P

Editor’s note; What I have never understood is why purge voters at all? Or why even have people register to vote when they turn 18? I have often said that when someone turns 18, send a card to them that says they are registered to vote as NPA (No party affiliation) and if you want to change your party affiliation you can come down to the auditor’s office and change it, otherwise you would be automatically registered. You of course would be responsible for address changes, etc. But you would never be NON-registered and never taken from the voter list.