Secretary of State Jason Gant attempted Tuesday to bypass the state board of elections — which has rule-making authority under state law — in approving new forms and introducing legislation. At the regular meeting in Sioux Falls, board members questioned Gant’s attempt to change forms such as those used for voter registration without the board’s final approval on the actual form.
One board member also questioned Gant bringing forth legislation this session without the board’s approval. The board, in place since the 1970s, is composed of auditors and former legislators from both parties. Its purpose is to help make bipartisan decisions and ensure public participation on election rules and policy.
Gant told members he didn’t think it was necessary to get “down and dirty on every single line” of a form. Instead, he wanted the board to approve the criteria of a form, such as adding a line for email or whether or not a voter wanted to be an election worker.
Members said they consider it their duty under state law, which says that the board “shall promulgate rules” concerning election items, including forms, and not cede responsibility to the Secretary of State.