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Author Archives: Kristin Brekke Vandersnick

Should the secretary of state’s job include boosting turnout?

By Kristin Brekke Vandersnick for Dakotafire Media Secretaries of state are the chief election officers, the ones charged with ensuring that elections are fair and efficient. But does that role include attending to voter turnout—one area where the United States has some room for improvement? Turns out, that depends on whom you ask. The election chiefs in the two Dakotas ... Read More »

Voting is easy. Really.

South Dakota Secretary of State Shantel Krebs wants to see higher public awareness of the ease of voting, both absentee and in-person. South Dakotans can request an absentee ballot to be completed by mail, or they can vote absentee in-person at select locations starting 46 days before Election Day. “Our job with voter turnout is ensuring that they know the ... Read More »

Communities mark Veterans Day with retirement ceremonies for Old Glory

By Kristin Vandersnick, for Dakotafire with additional reporting by Sheila Ring, Onida Watchman Veterans Day is about honoring those who have volunteered to serve their country, committed to giving even their lives, if asked. Many Dakota communities also take the day to honor Old Glory, the nation’s outward symbol of the freedoms veterans yearn to protect. “I look at it ... Read More »

Innovative funding, outreach efforts sustain Willow Lake Lions through 50 years

  By Kristin Brekke Vandersnick, Special to Dakotafire Media At a time when many rural volunteer-driven groups are struggling to maintain their missions and memberships, the 50-year-old Willow Lake Lions Club is just reaching its stride. In 1965, 25 men signed their names as charter members of the club. Last month, nearly 250 people gathered in the Willow Lake auditorium ... Read More »

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