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Voter Fraud Allegations Could Hurt South Dakota's Image

October 16, 2002, 11:50 PM by don jorgensen

Click here to watch this story(Windows Media) Could all of this cause an unfair election? It has many people concerned tonight. KELOLAND'S Don Jorgensen continues our coverage of allegations of voter fraud. Voter registration drives are common, but the Secretary of State's Office says its never seen one to this extent and think it may hurt South Dakota's image. Traditionally, South Dakota always has a high percentage of voter turnout at the polls. But this year, both Democrats and Republicans have pushed it to new limits. Look at the numbers from the secretary of state's office. During the June Primary there were 171, 956 registered democrat voters. As of last Friday there were 180, 317. That's a 4.86% increase. During the June Primary there were over 219, 292 registered republican voters. As of last Friday there were 225,131 that's a 2.66% increase. If there's voter registration fraud in South Dakota, Secretary of State Joyce Hazeltine, a republican, says county auditors will catch it through a system of checks and balances. "They're the ones who conduct the election and if they came across a problem they immediately contact the proper authorities so I think we're okay," said Hazeltine. Hazeltine feels confident fraudulent absentee ballots won't muddy what's already been dubbed by some a dirty election, but she's afraid a federal investigation will tarnish south Dakota's image. "Oh I'm sure that national press probably hasn't helped us any they're always looking for something like this and they want to find something discriminatory and that type of thing."

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