What’s happening with Minnehaha County voting?

Well, folks, it’s all happening in good ole’ Minnehaha County, where they’re toiling away to serve their ever-appreciative residents. Especially the county auditor, Leah Anderson, who apparently doesn’t trust her own office’s voting system. Cue dramatic music and a low budget thriller movie plot.

First, however, let’s comprehend what’s happening here. As per a statement by Democratic Party Chair Erik Muckey, Anderson’s anxiety might throw a wrench into the perfectly running wheel of democracy in Minnehaha County. Anderson thinks something is fishy under the surface, but not everybody agrees. In fact, they think the ship sails just fine and the current is smooth as cream cheese on a bagel.

For Anderson, the main issue is the lack of training and answers from ES&S, the producer of the county’s voting machines. She feels “attacked” for asking some unspecified questions (here’s hoping it wasn’t about their favorite pizza topping or if they prefer Star Wars over Star Trek). She wants to audit the entire system from start to end, which could be a fun time if you’re into that sort of thing.

Then enters Mike Mathis, the elections coordinator, and ex-member of the South Dakota Canvassing Group, which, in layman’s terms, prefers old school, hand-counted ballots. Mathis is worried about their reputation, which could be damaged if years down the line someone finds modems in these machines.

A twist in our tale comes when Anderson reveals she had two dozen supporters secretly tuned into the call. A sneaky move, as if we’re suddenly in a surprise episode of a reality TV show. Among her supporters, District 8’s very own House seat candidate Rick Weible, who’s also a fan of the Lindell Report. It’s a small world after all.

But the critics are abound. Senator Liz Larson, D-Minnehaha, reminds us that tabulating votes should be robust, reliable, and safe. A fair point, clearly, but she goes a step further, suggesting that the recent discussions are in reverse gear, starting from skepticism and mistrust. Larson and Muckey seem to be on the same page, batting for user-friendly voting, increased voter turnout, and protecting voters’ rights.

Anderson’s idea of randomly doing hand counts at the precinct level was met with disdain by some members of the Minnehaha County Commission. Larson finds the idea of resorting to hand-counting absurd, especially when machines and software were invented to avoid the inherent unreliability of human error.

Anderson, in a teeth-gritting moment, counters that Secretary of State Monae Johnson has forced them into a tricky position, between hand count or going with ES&S. She’s left questioning if machines should count but not use the reporting software. A classic would-you-rather situation.

So far, Anderson and Johnson’s offices have been on silent mode, like monks in deep meditation, with no replies to our queries. But don’t fret, dear Minnehaha County citizens, these shenanigans will continue, and we’ll be right here, watching, waiting, and occasionally cracking a joke or two. Until then, stay tuned and keep voting. Or not. No one is forcing you either way.