Long lines at the polls: Why it happened and possible solutions in Minnehaha County

Waiting over an hour to vote: why it happened and solutions that could help
Published: Nov. 9, 2022 at 5:15 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -Minnehaha county auditor Ben Kyte praises the 500 volunteers and staff in Tuesday’s election.

“They were all very dedicated. They worked very hard. So I give all the credit to them,” said Kyte.

First-time volunteer Doni Dubois was at one of the busiest precincts, East side Baptist church.

“We had 2118. So constant flow of people. Absolutely great turnout,” said Dubois.

Those in line at 7:00 pm when polls closed could stay and vote.

“We just took our last voter, and it’s just shortly before eight o’clock right now. So they waited it out to make their vote counts,” said Dubois.

The League of Women Voters monitors election issues.

“So the biggest problem we heard was longer lines than usual,” said Amy Scott-Stoltz, Vice President of the South Dakota Chapter. “And that happens after the redistricting process.”

Every voter has to be checked in one at a time, no matter how long the line is. This could be problematic for those who only have an hour for a meal break.

“They may leave and not come back,” said Scott-Stoltz.

There is a solution, according to Kyte. The incoming auditor could work with the county to create additional precincts, reducing the number of those who arrive to vote at each location. Dubois credits those who stayed in line.

“People care, and they want to make a difference. And they showed that by turning out,” said Dubois.