Controversy sparked over Pennington County voting tabulators

Hot Spring evangelist claims Pennington County voting tabulator tampering
The Early evening news on KOTA Territory TV
Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 9:08 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Ever since the 2020 presidential election, unfounded whispers of voter fraud and election tampering have been preached across the country.

In the Mount Rushmore state, the South Dakota Freedom Caucus claims that several county auditors and the secretary of state have been suppressing public information regarding the state’s election software and equipment.

“I’m going to call out the local news, Rapid City Journal, Newscenter1, KEVN, whoever it might be saying that this is just a fringe idea, we’re just election deniers, the majority of Americans believe this,” said Christian evangelist Matthew Monfore.

Monfore is referring to how Americans feel about the 2020 election, allegedly.

He also claims voting tabulator tampering in Pennington County.

“Give us the cast vote records and remove any doubt that we or they may have. So, if they give us that and there is nothing to see here, then that seals it, that’s done,” said Monfore. “At the very least let’s have an independent third-party computer expert open these things up and see what’s inside,”

The chairman of the Pennington County commission said that’s not necessary.

“Tabulators are just to count votes and the tabulators are not hooked to the internet. We have no other devices inside those that anybody from the outside can make contact with it or change it so that it is casting votes for others,” said Pennington County chairman Gary Drewes.

The Pennington County auditor reciprocated the message.

“I’m not aware and nor have I received information that would indicate that there was voter fraud in Pennington County and I’ve also not received anything from the secretary of state’s office that would suggest there was voter fraud in Pennington County,” said Pennington County auditor Cindy Mohler.

We spoke via phone to Secretary of State Steve Barnett. He claims the reason we use tabulators during elections in South Dakota is to help count votes faster and more efficiently. This is supported by Drewes and other members of the Pennington County Commission.

“You count how many ballots you have. You do that in person and then you run the tabs and actually count the specific votes for the individuals and if those two numbers match you know, we don’t see an issue,” said Drewes.

Despite both the commission and the auditors saying there’s no issue, the two groups are willing to meet with Monfore.

“I think they deserve the opportunity to present their side and we will try to respond and answer in the best way that we can,” said Drewes.

The two sides are scheduled to meet on Oct.r 26 at 4 p.m.