"I voted" stickers, as seen on the front of a new brochure from Secretary of State Monae Johnson. (SD Secretary of State)

Secretary of state releases election integrity brochure, urges voters to trust officials

BY: - November 28, 2023

A new brochure from Secretary of State Monae Johnson aims to address common election integrity questions in advance of the 2024 election, according to a Tuesday news release. The brochure, titled “A Guide to Secure Elections in South Dakota,” is designed to explain “different security measures South Dakota has put in place to protect our […]

The U.S Capitol Building is prepared for the inaugural ceremonies for President-elect Joe Biden as American flags are placed in the ground on the National Mall on Jan. 18, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

One year out: how a free and fair 2024 presidential election could be under threat

BY: - November 5, 2023

The last time America elected a president, it led to a deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol and a failed coup that gravely damaged the political system and marred the peaceful transfer of power for the first time in U.S. history. A year from now, the nation’s voters will decide another presidential contest — likely […]

(Getty Images)

Report: South Dakota legislative redistricting more fair to Native Americans 

BY: - October 11, 2023

Grouping Native American voters together earned South Dakota a better-than-average score from a voting rights watchdog group. Common Cause, a nonprofit organization, released a state-by-state scorecard on Wednesday, ranking states based on the way they redrew congressional and state legislative districts following the 2020 U.S. census. South Dakota only adjusts legislative districts, because the entire […]

DakotaPost, a mailbox service in Sioux Falls. (John Hult/South Dakota Searchlight)

Auditors: New voter residency rules difficult to manage for local election officials

BY: - October 8, 2023

The top election official in South Dakota’s largest county says a law passed last winter that requires all voters to live in the state for 30 days has turned into a headache for her office. Some full-time travelers or out-of-state residents without a home in Minnehaha County wind up on its voter rolls through automatic registration […]

Brown County Auditor Lynn Heupel explains how the tabulator machine works to count election ballots in November 2022. (Makenzie Huber/South Dakota Searchlight)

Price tag for post-election audits could be larger than lawmaker expectations

BY: - September 29, 2023

The cost to conduct post-election audits in South Dakota could vastly exceed an estimate calculated for lawmakers earlier this year, according to a survey of county auditors. Or it won’t; neither the Secretary of State’s Office nor county auditors are sure. South Dakota’s Board of Elections signed off this week on most of the rules […]

The South Dakota Secretary of State's Office in Pierre. (John Hult/South Dakota Searchlight)

Post-election audit rules spark debate on voter intent

BY: - September 27, 2023

The perceived daylight between the terms “manual count” and “hand count” proved contentious during discussions of post-election audit rules that inched closer to implementation on Wednesday in Pierre. The rules represent South Dakota’s first foray into post-election audits, which are routinely done in most states. Creating such an audit process was a key campaign issue […]

Signage at an early voting center on Sept. 23, 2016, in Minneapolis. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

On Democracy Day, newsrooms unite for pro-democracy coverage

BY: - September 15, 2023

It’s no secret: U.S. democracy is under serious threat. Politicians use rigged maps to entrench themselves in power, allowing them to ignore the will of voters. Hundreds of members of Congress, state lawmakers, and top state officials — including chief elections officials — deny the results of the last presidential contest. And a leading candidate […]

Signage at an early voting center on Sept. 23, 2016, in Minneapolis. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Democratic voter registration falls behind ‘other’ category in South Dakota

BY: - August 21, 2023

Historic shifts in South Dakota voter registration have culminated in a milestone: The number of voters registered as independents or without a political affiliation has surpassed the number of Democrats. Independent and non-politically affiliated voters (those who leave the political affiliation blank when they first register) have been growing steadily in number since the 1990s. […]

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No Labels recognized as a political party in South Dakota

BY: - August 4, 2023

A national organization that might field a third-party candidate for president has been recognized as a political party in South Dakota. Monae Johnson, South Dakota’s secretary of state, announced Friday that No Labels has filed the required number of petition signatures to establish itself as a party in the state. No Labels now has 30 […]

David Leist of Columbus, left, a field organizer for Ohio Citizen Action, hands registered voter Richard Hall a flyer with information while canvassing against Ohio Issue 1 on July 25, 2023, in Columbus, Ohio. (Graham Stokes/Ohio Capital Journal)

Ohio voters are deciding if it’s too easy to pass ballot measures. Other states are watching.

BY: and - August 2, 2023

CLEVELAND — Ohioans over the last century have used the state’s ballot initiative process to pass constitutional amendments that raised the minimum wage, integrated the National Guard and removed the phrase “white male” from the constitution’s list of voter eligibility requirements. Now, lawmakers want to make it much tougher for an initiative to be approved. […]

A voter shows identification to an election judge during primary voting on May 3, 2022, in Lordstown, Ohio. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

National bill on voting standards pushed anew by Democrats in Congress

BY: - July 18, 2023

WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats on Tuesday said they plan to again introduce a bill to set national voting standards in response to state legislatures passing strict voting laws. The bill, known in a previous Congress as the Freedom to Vote Act, would establish national standards for early voting, mail-in ballots and protection of poll workers […]

Signage at an early voting center on Sept. 23, 2016, in Minneapolis. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Changes in state election laws have little impact on results, new study finds

BY: - July 15, 2023

In recent years, U.S. politics has been consumed by partisan fights over states’ election policies. But a new study by two political scientists is causing a stir by finding that state legislators’ changes to election laws — both those that tighten election rules in the name of integrity, and those that loosen rules to expand […]