Let me see if I have this right: during the Minnehaha County Commission's canvass of Tuesday's vote yesterday, Commisssioner Jeff Barth asked County Auditor Bob Litz about errors and delays in the county's delayed ballot count. Auditor Litz proceeded to explain that errors arose because, after he set up several polling stations with two precincts at two tables in the same room, inattentive voters put their ballots in the wrong box. When Commissioner Barth asked how that Election Day set-up could have affected glitchy counting of absentee ballots, Litz responded with this remarkable disrespect for the commissioner:
I have no idea what you're trying to get at with this question. Madame Chair, you know, I would ask that we stay on task with this matter. I'm not here to make a political statement. I'm here to get the results and the accuracy of this canvass passed by this commission. I'd like to save Mr. Barth's proclivitous political partisan pandering for another day. I think the conversation today has to stay with this canvass [Bob Litz, Minnehaha County Commission meeting, Sioux Falls, SD, 2014.11.07].
I'm trying to parse Litz's neologism, proclivitous. If it means anything, we may be able to interpret it as, "manifesting a tendency to engage in some behavior, probably an objectionable behavior."
In the midst of the canvass of a vote, the purpose of which is to verify the legitimacy of the ballots and the completeness and accuracy of the vote count, Commissioner Jeff Barth asks a question about the completeness and accuracy of the vote count. County Auditor Bob Litz, in complete contravention of the purpose of the canvass and his sworn duty as chief election officer of the county, dismisses that question as objectionable political pandering.
Based on his doubts about the integrity of the results tabulated by Auditor Litz, Commissioner Barth voted not to accept the results of the canvass. The rest of the Commission, which voted to approve the canvass, seemed not to want to have that conversation:
Chief Civil Deputy State's Attorney Kersten Kappmeyer and Commissioner Gerald Beninga told Barth a canvassing meeting was not the place to question Litz's performance in the election.
"There are legal remedies elsewhere for the issues Commissioner Barth raised," Kappmeyer said.
"We know we've got an issue. We need to solve the issue," Beninga added. But he said dealing with a review of election procedures as regular commission business and not at a canvassing meeting is the appropriate course [Peter Harriman, "Election Canvas [sic] Gets Heated over Voting Problems," that Sioux Falls paper, 2014.11.07].
Minnehaha County, you most certainly should pursue legal or other remedies against a County Auditor who appears to be unable and unwilling to conduct elections effectively and respond commissioners' questions respectfully and directly. You need to take Auditor Litz by the scruff of the neck, tell him to quit blaming Barth for asking good questions and voters eating macaroni and cheese, and fix the problem in Minnehaha County's voting system.