Election mailers cause voters concern over absentee ballots

Published: Oct. 27, 2020 at 8:25 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - It is only one week until election day, and already millions of Americans have cast their ballots by mail. But, a postcard sent out by the South Dakota Republican Party is raising concerns about whether or not some absentee ballots are accounted for.

Vice Chair of the South Dakota Democratic Party Nikki Gronli says a husband and wife from Alcester brought the mailer to attention when they took it into the Democratic Party’s office, concerned their absentee ballots had gone missing.

“He knew he had turned in his absentee ballot, he was a little shook by maybe the fact that it hadn’t made it, and he called his auditor’s office," Gronli said. "Once they figured out that this piece was actually just a mailer, they were a little angry about it.”

In a statement to Dakota News Now, Chair of the South Dakota GOP Dan Lederman said:

"There is a slight delay in when mailers are generated and when they are received, and the party was going based on the information available at the time of mailing. The main point is the Republican Party wants to make sure people get their absentee ballots turned in before the election.”

While the Democratic Party sends out mailers of their own encouraging voters to submit their ballots, Gronli says this one in particular is misleading.

“When you have something that shows up saying your absentee ballot isn’t in, has your name specifically on it, then it is going to cause a little concern and confusion," Gronli said.

Minnehaha County Auditor Bob Litz says the best way to address any concerns you may have about your absentee ballot is by going directly to the source.

“There’s going to be a lot of junk out there flying around, a lot of misinformation, a lot of things that are designed to alarm you, but at the end of the day your real source of information is going to be your county auditor’s office, and the Secretary of the State,” Litz said.

In addition, the Secretary of State’s Office has set up a Voter Information Portal where you can track your ballot.

The Minnehaha County Auditor’s Office has already collected about 35,000 absentee ballots, and that number is only expected to grow.

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