Roberts County voters approve Second Amendment sanctuary county resolution

Voters cast their ballots Tuesday at the Brown County Courthouse in Aberdeen.
Voters cast their ballots Tuesday at the Brown County Courthouse in Aberdeen.

Roberts County voters approved a resolution Tuesday declaring the county a Second Amendment sanctuary county.

The measure passed with 60% support on a final vote of 844-544.

Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions essentially declare that unconstitutional gun laws will not be enforced within the jurisdiction.

Charles Gary Sheldon, known in the area as Gary Sheldon, circulated the petition twice to take the issue to a vote in Roberts County. Sheldon said the first petition, which had 416 signatures, was rejected by county commissioners because it didn't say it was an initiative petition. So he circulated a second petition, got 440 signatures and timed the filing of the petition so it could be placed on the primary ballot. He needed 326 valid signatures from registered voters in the county.

Sheldon said he circulated the petition after going to the Roberts County Commission and asking that the county be declared a Second Amendment sanctuary county. His request was denied. He said he decided to make the request after residents in Traverse County in Minnesota did the same.

Brown County voter turnout

With something on the ballot for any registered voter, Brown County saw a higher-than-usual voter turnout Tuesday for a primary election.

According to data from the South Dakota Secretary of State's Office, 7,711 voters, or 31.79% of Brown County voters, cast ballots. That includes the 2,432 people who voted absentee.

Brown County Auditor Cathy McNickle said typical voter turnout for a primary is around 20%. For example, 2020 voter turnout was 26.57%.

With an estimated 15% voter turnout by 4 p.m. on Tuesday, McNickle said she was expecting potentially record turnout for a primary in excess of 30%.

On the ballot were contested political, county commission and legislative races and Constitutional Amendment C. Voters in Aberdeen also cast ballots for city council and school board, which are both nonpartisan positions.

The abundance of races meant Brown County voters received one of 32 different ballots, depending on where they live and the races they could vote on. McNickle said that's the highest number of ballots poll workers have had to contend with since Brown County started using vote centers.

Codington County voter turnout

Codington County voter turnout also exceeded 30%, with 5,266 ballots cast.

Voter turnout was 30.32%, which is up from 2020's 25.75%. Codington County Auditor Cindy Brugman said a 25% to 30% turnout is typical for a primary. In the days leading up to Tuesday's vote, she said she expected turnout to be about 30%.

About 1,500 people voted absentee, she said, which is comparable to the primary four years ago when about 1,700 people voted absentee. That year there were also Republican races and a nonpartisan contest.

Brugman said voting went smoothly Tuesday, with the biggest influx of voters after 4 p.m. until the polls closed three hours later.

"From 4 to 7 our central location in Codington County was hopping," she said.

Brugman said it was a typical primary with several questions from voters who thought they were registered Republicans, but learned they were registered under a different party. Others, she said, discovered their voter registration wasn't updated to their current address. Those items, she said, can't be addressed on the day of the election. All voter information must be updated 15 days prior to the election.

Statewide and regional turnout

Voter turnout statewide was 32.09%, according to the secretary of state's website. That was the highest level since the 2010 primary, when 34.5% of voters cast a ballot. That election saw several Republicans fighting for the nomination for governor, which Dennis Daugaard won, and for Congress. That nomination was won by Kristi Noem.

While Brown and Codington counties had similar turnouts, it was better in some other counties across the region.

  • Campbell County: 488 ballots cast, 44.16% voter turnout.

  • Clark County: 822 ballots cast, 32.67% voter turnout.

  • Day County: 1,240 ballots cast, 31.77% voter turnout.

  • Edmunds County: 1,104 ballots cast, 41.71% voter turnout.

  • Faulk County: 607 ballots cast, 40.01% voter turnout.

  • Grant County: 1,629 ballots cast, 34.52% voter turnout.

  • Hamlin County: 1,553 ballots cast, 38.69% voter turnout.

  • Kingsbury County: 1,696 ballots cast, 47.47% voter turnout.

  • Marshall County: 955 ballots cast, 34.48% voter turnout.

  • McPherson County: 761 ballots cast, 44.12% voter turnout.

  • Potter County: 943 ballots cast, 55.34% voter turnout.

  • Roberts County: 1,484 ballots cast, 24.04% voter turnout.

  • Spink County: 1,712 ballots cast, 41.52% voter turnout.

  • Walworth County: 1,491 ballots cast, 42.39% voter turnout.

Precinct committeeman, committeewoman races

Republicans across the region also voted to elect precinct committeemen and precinct committeewomen and GOP state convention delegates. Results follow.

Brown County

State convention delegates

*Drew Dennert: 2,691 (31%)

*Jack Hieb: 1,688 (19%)

*Ashton Dennert: 1,399 (16%)

Charlene Cornelius: 1,192 (14%)

Ron Cornelius: 962 (11%)

Tabor Schabot: 798 (9%)

Precinct 3 committeeman

*Daniel Kaiser: 145 (43%)

Dave Lunzman: 123 (36%)

Heath Johnson: 70 (21%)

Precinct 6 committeeman

*George Paul Dennert: 262 (71%)

Douglas Roggow: 108 (29%)

Precinct 7 committeeman

*Steven Lust: 362 (63%)

Kyler Dinger: 211 (37%)

Precinct 8 committeeman

*Brandon Black: 81 (52%)

Gregory Brooks: 74 (48%)

Precinct 9 committeeman

*Andrew Bergan: 124 (75%)

Rickey L. Hansen: 42 (25%)

Precinct 10 committeeman

*Daniel Richardt: 21 (44%)

Timothy Prater: 14 (29%)

Justin Rezatto: 13 (27%)

Precinct 12 committeeman

*Darren Engelhart: 92 (56%)

Jeffrey T. Sveen: 73 (44%)

Precinct 13 committeeman

*Jeffrey Kippley: 62 (68%)

Patrick G. Rohl: 29 (32%)

Precinct 15 committeeman

*Michael Rohl: 228 (75%)

Ken Bjur: 74 (25%)

Precinct 16 committeeman

*Kaleb Weis: 65 (61%)

Michael Evans: 42 (39%)

Precinct 17 committeeman

*Keith Miller: 55 (64%)

Kevin G. Weig: 31 (36%)

Precinct 19 committeeman

*Jesse Zak: 125 (67%)

Brandon Bible: 62 (32%)

Precinct 3 committeewoman

*Laura Zylstra Kaiser: 117 (40%)

Mary Jane "MJ" Lunzman: 108 (37%)

Joni Hansen: 67 (23%)

Precinct 7 committeewoman

*Lia Dinger: 241 (55%)

Sophie Doeden: 194 (45%)

Precinct 12 committeewoman

*Heidi Engelhart: 95 (59%)

Mary Jorgensen: 66 (41%)

Precinct 15 committeewoman

*Monica Meyer: 180 (78%)

Jan Bjur: 52 (22%)

Precinct 16 committeewoman

*Kayla Weis: 53 (56%)

Barbara Evans: 30 (32%)

Debora J. Ross: 11 (12%)

Precinct 17 committeewoman

*Shannon Broderson: 57 (58%)

Anne Miller: 41 (42%)

Precinct 19 committeewoman

*Glenna M. Remington: 119 (59%)

Krissi Zak: 84 (41%)

Codington County

State convention delegates

*Hugh Bartels: 2,361 (35%)

*Jeanne Horning: 1,807 (27%)

*Donna Schoenbeck: 1,644 (25%)

Daro Crandall: 888 (13%)

Hamlin County

Precinct 21 committeeman

*Victor Carter: 217 (84%)

Kirk James Hauck: 41 (16%)

Roberts County

Precinct 11 committeewoman

*Tamara St. John: 70 (61%)

Joann C. Sheldon: 44 (44%)

Walworth County

Precinct 1 committeeman

*Dana Randall: 64 (78%)

Lyle Perman: 18 (22%)

Precinct 3 committeewoman

*Vivian Witlock: 194 (71%)

Kathy K. Walker: 80 (29%)

This article originally appeared on Aberdeen News: Voters in Roberts County approved 2nd Amendment sanctuary resolution