School Board Members Deciding to Hand Count Summer Election
SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- Registered voters will be seeing something a little different in this year’s school board election. Instead of having their vote be counted by the Minnehaha County’s ballot counting machine. volunteers appointed by school board members will hand count the votes instead.
“We have not done this for as long; I mean I don’t ever remember doing it,” says Todd Thoelke, Sioux Falls school board president.
The summer school board election will be looking a little different this year. For the first time, school board members will be hand counting the votes instead of using the ballot counting machine. With only one of the five seats on the board open this year and no joint election with city or county. They say saving money played a big role in this decision.
“We could use the county system, but that’s about a fifteen thousand dollars expense. So expecting a three to five percent turnout for the election; we will appoint a board a group of people that are the counters and we will have them hand count the ballots and hopefully we will be done by 10 p.m,” says Thoelke.
The board says due to this election being smaller this will be simple to do. However, this isn’t something that will be permanent.
“If we run into a situation where there is only a one person school board member then we would probably look at it again, but we are just lucky the stars lined up to where we could do this and save the taxpayers a little bit of money,” says Thoelke.
The election is set after the end of the school year on June 6. The board says they are hoping to hand count the absentee ballots as well, but are working out the details with the auditor.