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Democrats, GOP Wait For Results

November 6, 2012, 7:41 PM

Democrats, GOP Wait For Results
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

The polls have been closed for about a half-hour East River, but are still open West River.  We've had scattered reports all night of some pretty long lines, but now ballots are being counted in Minnehaha County.

At the Minnehaha County auditor's office, the end of the line is in sight.  That's a big change from 6:30 p.m. when the wait was at about an hour and a half to vote.

Officials hope to start setting up the electronic scanners to start counting the votes once the multipurpose room clears out.  Other precinct ballot boxes are starting to arrive as Boy Scout are delivering those.  They hope to start counting those within a few minutes.

We spoke briefly with county auditor Bob Litz and he said that it looks to be very encouraging now that they're back on track as far as the counting goes.

After all the precincts are counted, they're going to start counting the more than 17,000 absentee ballots that need to be counted as well.  It's going to be a bit more difficult counting those because as they were mailed many were creased, which makes it a little more difficult for the scanners to count them.

As of right now, it looks like the pace is getting back on schedule.  They should be able to start counting the ballots here in Minnehaha County in just a matter of minutes.

Voting centers will be open late in Yankton County because voting equipment arrived late.  Voting Centers will be open until 7:50 p.m. Central Time.  The county auditor does say that the lines are moving quickly and voters seem to like the change.

At the Ramkota Hotel, it's starting to feel like a party for the Republicans even though nothing has been decided yet.  There are about 150 people who are there getting something to eat and mingling, gearing up for the results that they'll be closely watching as the night progresses.

One of the races that they're paying close attention to is the race for Public Utilities Commission, typically a race that doesn't get much attention.  It's become quite heated between Republican Kristie Fiegen and her Democratic challenger Matt McGovern.

With the Democrats at the Convention Center, things are starting to pick up as well.  Right now there are about 35 to 40 people who are starting to file in now that the polls have closed for the night, though the Democrats are expecting more people.

We'll be closely following the race between Democrat Matt Varilek and Republican Kristi Noem for the state's lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.  In 2010 when Kristi Noem unseated the popular incumbent Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin, Herseth-Sandlin had strong support along the I-29 corridor and in the Northeast. 

Noem won her two home-counties, Hamlin and Codington counties.  Pretty much all of the western counties went to Noem except for the reservations.

Two years ago, there was a wildcard in the race with an Independent candidate B. Thomas Marking.  This year, there are just two candidates.

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