Hughes, Hyde, Sully and Potter Among SD Counties Having Issues With Electronic Pollbooks

PIERRE, SD – The Secretary of State’s Office is clarifying information pertaining to certain county polling location issues.

For the facts: 

County Commissioners and County Auditors in eight counties in this state have chosen to utilize electronic pollbooks.

These counties experienced sporadic loss of connectivity with their electronic pollbooks.  Some of those counties switched to their back up plan of utilizing paper voter registration lists and pollbooks.  Others resolved the issues with the electronic pollbook vendor without undue delay.

The loss of connectivity caused delays in voting in Pennington and Hughes Counties which will require a few polling places to remain open longer this evening based on the statute below.  Pennington and Hughes Counties are determining which polling places will have extended hours beyond 7:00 pm local time.  This information will be available as soon as we have it.

This is not a statewide issue.  This delay was limited to the counties that voluntarily use electronic pollbooks and the issue has been resolved. 

The eight counties include:  Brookings, Brown, Hughes, Hyde, Pennington, Potter, Sully and Yankton.

SDCL 12-2-4.   Emergency extension of closing times–Reopening after extended emergency. Notwithstanding § 12-2-3, the county auditor may, upon request of the superintendent of an election precinct, if an emergency exists by reason of mechanical failure of a voting machine or an unanticipated shortage of ballots or like unforeseen event warrants it, extend the polling hours for that precinct until the emergency situation has been resolved. If the emergency situation is not resolved within two hours, except for a primary or general election, the polling place shall remain closed for one week and reopen at the time of the closure of the polling place.

There will be a delay in releasing election results until all polling locations are closed due to the above statute and pursuant to the SDCL 12-20-17.

SDCL 12-20-17.   Returns not disclosed until all polls in state closed. No public disclosure of the returns of state and federal elections in any primary or general election is permitted until each precinct polling place in the state is closed. This provision applies to each precinct polling place within the state.