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Vote fraud in South Dakota

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Fraud concerns

Senate race, 2002

Maka Duta admitted that she had duplicated signatures on voter registration forms and on applications for absentee ballots after an investigation into allegations of vote fraud launched by the FBI and state authorities.

Adele Enright, the Democratic auditor of Dewey County, said the concerns were preceded by large numbers of new voter registrations: "All of those counties are being flooded with new voters. We just got a huge envelope of 350 absentee ballot applications postmarked from the Sioux Falls office of the Democratic Party."

Steve Aberle, the Dewey County state's attorney, said many of the applications are in the same handwriting.

Some specifics:

  • Richard Maxon said his signature on a card was forged.
  • Denise Red Horse of Ziebach County died September 3 in a car crash, but two separate absentee-ballot applications from Red Horse dated September 21 were found in bundles of applications mailed from Democratic party headquarters.
  • Maka Duta, who worked for the Democratic Party collecting registrations in Ziebach, was found in the investigation to have purhcased a county history book containing many local names, some of which appeared in the piles of new registrations.
  • Registrar Mable Romero says she received a registration card for her three-year-old granddaughter, Ashley.
  • Some voters claimed to have been offered cash to register to vote.
  • In both Dewey and Ziebach counties, the number of registered voters easily exceeds the number of residents over 18 counted by the 2000 census.
  • Renee Dross, an election clerk for Shannon County, said her office had received some 1,100 new voter registrations in a county with only 10,000 people. "Many were clearly signed by the same person," she added.[1]


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