WINNER, S.D. (KELO) — It was a long election night and early morning in Tripp County. That’s where election workers counted this year’s ballots by hand at the request of county commissioners.
Ballot after ballot, people here in Tripp County counted each and every one.
“Yeah, it just made a longer evening for everybody. The counters were exhausted after a 12 hour day and then a lot of them were the precinct workers, another 9, 10 hours is a long day,” Barb Desersa, Tripp and Todd County Auditor, said.
“It is a long process,” Candace Biggins, Tripp County Treasurer, said.
There were about 39 people counting the ballots here last night for Tripp County. It took about ten and a half hours.
County Auditor Barb Desersa and Treasurer Candace Biggens believe if they counted the ballots with just machines, things would’ve been a lot quicker.
“I would say if we didn’t do the hand counts last night, we would’ve been out of here by 10:30, 11 o’clock last night. We usually have Tripp County completely done before Todd County gets in because they have to drive a ways. It’s usually a lot quicker,” Biggens said.
When you hand count ballots, Biggens says one person reads the ballot and two others mark down the votes. All the polls have to match or they have to be recounted.
Desersa hopes the next election day will look a little differently.
“The machine count is just as accurate. We will do a check and audit it but anyone I talk to that had to count said that they don’t want to do that again. Either we find new teams to work or I really hope we go back to the machine,” Desersa said.
Tripp County also counts the voter’s ballots in Todd County. Those were able to be counted through a machine.