SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — With the election just days away, a bombshell has been dropped in Minnehaha County that could have huge implications on the outcome.
Two people have filed court documents to stop Minnehaha County from counting mail-in absentee ballots.
There are more than 100 pages. The civil lawsuit questions whether some of those absentee mail-in ballots were turned in by people who are not legally registered to vote here.
With less than a week until election day, you’ll find plenty of people voting absentee in Minnehaha County.
South Dakota Election 2022 Resources from KELOLAND News
- Your Local Election Headquarters
- South Dakota Election 2022 results
- Kristi Noem grabs decisive win to secure second term
- Amendment D: Voters weigh Medicaid expansion
- IM 27: South Dakota votes on legal marijuana again
- Senator John Thune easily wins re-election bid
- Dusty Johnson wins re-election bid for House seat
- Slaughterhouse ordinance on ballot for Sioux Falls voters
- Live updates: 2022 midterm election results
But is the auditor’s office doing enough to make sure people who apply to vote are eligible?
That’s the question at the heart of this request for a temporary restraining order that would prohibit the county from opening and separating all mail-in ballots.
The filing includes more than 20 examples of people who listed Dakota Post and Your Best Address as their mailing addresses on their voter registration forms.
Both Sioux Falls businesses forward mail, which is legal for residents who don’t live in South Dakota full time, as long as they meet certain requirements.
The suit also questions whether some absentee voters are registered in more than one state and whether the auditor’s office broke the law, by accepting documents that weren’t filled out completely.
Many of the examples, have sections that are blank, including a line that reads “If Residence Address is a PO Box, rural box, or general delivery, you must give the location of your residence.”
KELOLAND News reached out to the Minnehaha County Auditor’s office for a response and was referred to the state’s attorney’s office. We haven’t heard back yet.
KELOLAND News also spoke with the ACLU – which wouldn’t comment directly on this case – but is encouraging voters to keep turning in their absentee ballots.
“It boils down to voting is such a fundamental right of our democracy because the decisions made in city hall, state legislatures or U.S. Congress and every other level of government affects the lives of South Dakotans, but the people who are really making the decisions are us as voters,” ACLU Jann Farley said.
Right now Minnehaha County has more than 15,000 absentee ballots to be counted for the upcoming election.