While Kos indicated yesterday that Diedrich was already conceding defeat, that wasn’t stopping everyone from engaging in illegal activity.
When I voted at about 5:15 p.m., a window adjoining an interior door to my polling place had a sign that said, “Vote for traditional values” with the second “t” in traditional shaped as a large cross. I complained to a precinct worker, who said, “This is a church.” When I said that didn’t matter, another worker went and looked at the sign, returned and said, “It’s not political.” I said, “Excuse me, ma’am, it certainly is.” The sign was then removed but only because I raised the issue. The election workers claimed to not know how the sign got there or how long it had been there.
I contacted the County Auditor’s office to voice a complaint and notified the Herseth campaign in the hopes that whoever did this will be located and appropriately sanctioned. I don’t know how optimistic to be since the woman I spoke to at the auditor’s office seemed to miss the point. She said since the polls had been open since 7 a.m. and I was the first one to complain, the sign must not have been very noticeable. Gee, then, how come I saw it? And who knows how long it was up?
And noticeable has nothing to do with the law. South Dakota’s statutes provide: “Except for sample ballots and materials and supplies necessary for the conduct of the election, no person may, in any polling place or within or on any building in which a polling place is located or within one hundred feet from any entrance leading into a polling place, . . . display campaign posters, signs, or other campaign materials or by any like means solicit any votes for or against any person or political party or position on a question submitted.” Does that sign meet this test? I certainly think it does given the nature of the issues and the way the Herseth-Diedrich campaign was run.
I do not know who put up the sign and certainly am not accusing anyone in particular. I do believe it is totally improper, illegal and unethical. Proof of my reaction came in the voting booth. As any of you who follow or have read this blog know, I was not a Herseth fan and was not going to cast a ballot in the race. The sign, though, pissed me off enough that I voted for her.