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SD Sec. of State releases brochure ensuring state's elections are secure

Monae Johnson is the Republican candidate for South Dakota Secretary of State
Krystal Schoenbauer
South Dakota Secretary of State Monae Johnson (file)

South Dakota’s top election official is moving to bolster belief that the state’s elections are safe and secure.

Secretary of State Monae Johnson released a brochure this week detailing the steps the state has taken to protect election integrity.

The brochure said the state’s tabulation machines are not connected to the internet and noted the state’s voter ID requirements as well as other safeguards. It also encouraged people to consider becoming a poll watcher or poll observer.

A press release announcing the brochure also sought to reinforce confidence in the state's election system. In the release, Johnson urged voters to "confirm the sources of election information they are receiving," and to "look to election officials as the trusted sources of election information."

“The right to a free and fair election is the foundation of our democracy in our nation,” Johnson said. “My number one job as Chief Election Officer is to ensure that we conduct fair and accurate elections for the citizens of South Dakota. Our office will continue to focus our resources on the protection of our election systems and overall election security. We remain committed and proud of our involvement at the forefront of election security planning and the start of post-election auditing.”

During the 2023 legislative session, Johnson backed a successful effort to to establish post-election audits in South Dakota.

Johnson was one of many Republican election officials nationwide who won their seats running on an “election integrity” platform.

That term became a hot-button issue for many after former President Donald Trump insisted, without evidence, the 2020 election was rigged against him. A recent CNN poll found nearly 70 percent of Republicans do not believe the 2020 election was legitimate.

During the race for secretary of state in 2022, Johnson refused to answer questions on whether she believed the 2020 election was legitimate.