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November 13, 2012 10:15 PM

SF School District Wants City To Run Elections

sioux falls, sd

The City of Sioux Falls and the Sioux Falls School District may no longer team up to hold joint elections.

A proposal in front of the council right now would put city workers in charge.

The proposal follows the long lines and the lack of ballots that were experienced during the last joint city and school district election held in April.

"I think there were some challenges in the last joint election and this is a way to pre-empt those and maybe start a new deal so we're crystal clear on who's in charge and so there's not as many cooks in the kitchen," Sioux Falls City Council member Greg Jamison said.

Typically, the school district and city would work together, but the Sioux Falls School Board has now signed a proposal handing over control of any joint elections.

"Since they have more issues at stake in those elections, perhaps they should run it and we'll reimburse them for what it would have cost us if we had the elections ourselves," Sioux Falls School District Business Manager Todd Vik said.

Under the proposal, the school district would simply cut the city a check for their portion of the ballot.

The only time the school district would run its own election is in odd-numbered years when there are only school board candidates on the ballot.

That's where some of the questions come in. The city council hasn't signed the agreement yet because Jamison says there are still questions to be answered.

"Some of the concerns are about keeping the voting locations consistent.  If we're running our own election, we get to decide where there are voting precincts or voting centers and if the school district has their own election and decides to do one or the other," Jamison said.

And now the school district is just waiting for the city council to find those answers so they can hand over control of future joint elections.

"We already signed it and sent it to them so we're just waiting for them to approve it and sign it and send it back," Vik said.

"I don't know that we've worked out all the details just yet but I think we'll eventually get there," Jamison said.

The council plans to discuss the issue in December.

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