The State Board of Elections adopted 45 pages of rules changes Monday in order to to keep up with South Dakota’s changing politics. The proposals covered establishing governments for new cities, adopting armed sentinel programs in school districts, filling city and school board vacancies after resignations, conducting random samples of petition signatures for statewide candidates and on statewide ballot measures, and many more. Pennington County Auditor Julie Pearson was the only person who testified and wasn’t a board member. She pointed out several times how the rules might be better written.
Pearson also noted for the board that a series of changes such as large-print formats to better accommodate people with disabilities resulted from a federal ADA compliance review in Pennington County.
Nearly all ideas won approval 7-0 from the board, headed by Secretary of State Shantel Krebs. None failed, although one regarding how to describe vacancies for at-large city council vacancies faced questions from Drew Duncan of Sioux Falls about its necessity. It survived 4-3 with backing from Mitch LaFleur of Rapid City.
“We encountered a lot this year, unusual situations,” Krebs said after the public hearing that lasted more than two hours. “We’ve had a lot of different things thrown out at us.”