South Dakota County Averts Election Administration Crisis, Thanks to a Foresighted 2011 Law Change

McPherson County, South Dakota, has a population of 2,459, and in 2010 only 1,195 voters participated in the general election. Naturally, in such a small-population county, election administration is largely a one-person affair. On May 5, Steve Serr, the county’s Auditor and the person who runs election administration, died unexpectedly at the age of 64. He had held that position for almost 30 years.

Fortunately, in 2011, the South Dakota legislature passed a bill giving authority for the Secretary of State to administer a county election in an emergency. See this ElectionlawWeekly story. The law is now being used for the first time. The South Dakota primaries, for president and all other partisan office, are June 5.

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