PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota Elections Board wants some rules changes. The board held a public hearing Wednesday that unexpectedly drew a crowd.

More than three dozen people attended, with at least a dozen standing in the hallway outside the small meeting room because they couldn’t fit inside. Many were aligned with South Dakota Canvassing Group. They want more transparency of election data, same-day voting, no electronic devices, tougher residency laws and voting only in the precinct where the voter is registered.

The proposed rule changes that the board considered however are intended to comply only with new laws that the Legislature passed last winter. The board lacks authority to go beyond what the Legislature authorizes.

One of those new laws requires county auditors to start conducting post-election audits next year. Secretary of State Monae Johnson chairs the board. One of her campaign themes last year was adding post-election audits. Many of those in attendance Wednesday supported her election.

Johnson, a Republican, recently convened an advisory committee on post-election audits. The group’s first meeting was held in private. Tom Deadrick, the deputy secretary of state, told the board there would be more proposed rules in the future, including for post-election audits. What might they be?

“I don’t have the slightest idea right now, because I don’t know where we’re going on that,” Deadrick said. He added that those proposals will be in place before the 2024 June primary elections: “That you can expect.”

Board members listened to comments from a range of people during the meeting. Most of them pointed out what they believe to be shortcomings in South Dakota’s current system.

The board adopted most of the proposed rules, making amendments in some instances. Two proposed rules however were deferred to a future meeting. County auditors, who run the elections, want more time to work on proposals regarding ballot-box security and absentee voting at nursing facilities, assisted living centers and hospitals.

The proposals that were approved Wednesday now go to the Legislature’s Rules Review Committee for a decision whether they can take effect. That panel of six lawmakers next meets July 18.

During the public comment period after the hearing, one of those who came in with the South Dakota Canvassing Group, Mike Assman from Mission, spoke up. He and his wife, Darla, donated $8,000 last year to Johnson’s campaign. They were one of her largest contributors.

“All of this technology brings chaos,” Assman, a former county commissioner, said. He compared voting to putting money in a bank, then being told you can’t know how much you really have. “Now how long would you be at that bank?” he asked.

“It’s not headed anywhere good, guys. It could be good,” he said about how South Dakota relies on technology for election administration. “It’s a joke. It will never be right. We will never trust it. We will never trust it.”