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City Official: Voter Frustration Can Be Prevented

November 9, 2011, 6:10 PM by Brady Mallory

City Official: Voter Frustration Can Be Prevented
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Sometimes voters have more opinions than what's just on the ballot. 

"I heard from precinct workers there was some frustrated voters," Interim City Clerk Sue Roust said.

Roust said overlooking a small detail can make election day a big headache for voters, like the ones who were turned away because they were at the wrong precinct.

"Sometimes people get a little confused if they have moved, some people assume their registration will automatically be updated for them and it's not. If you've moved and haven't changed your registration, you go back to your old polling place," Roust said.

She said you can see where you are supposed to vote online on the Secretary of State's website.  One way of changing precincts is updating your information when you renew your drivers license. Beyond doing your homework, Roust said election officials try to make precincts run smoothly.  

They try to gauge the number of voters showing up to each precinct in order to have enough workers to make the process quick and easy. But the unexpected 25-percent hike in voter turnout created a few challenges, including longer lines. In the future, technology could help speed up the process. 

"E-Poll Books. Laptop computers can have voter registration right on it.  Even if you still have traditional precincts, you could have a laptop and scan your license and it would pull your name right up," Roust said.

Another solution to precinct problems might be voting centers. With Voting Centers, you are able to vote on Election Day at any location without worrying about showing up at the wrong precinct.   Even though voters were turned away for showing up at the wrong precincts, in most cases it gets resolved.

"Hopefully most of those voters were able to get to their precincts and actually vote. Normally that wouldn't impact an election," Roust said.

Secretary of State: Voter Information Portal

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