What You Need to Know to Register to Vote in South Dakota
To vote in South Dakota you need to be registered. If you are a first-time voter, just turned 18 years old, are new to South Dakota, or need to update your info here's what to do.
Go to your County Auditor's office (usually in your county court house); your local Driver's license station; agencies providing food stamps, TANF or WIC, or military recruitment offices and fill out this form, and you are good to go. It is very simple!
Remember it is always free to vote and to register. No matter your name, the state you once lived in, your address, or whatever. It's also a good idea to double-check your voting information and make sure you are still registered and have not been erased from the voter rolls.
In this article you will learn how to register to vote in South Dakota, when the next elections are, and how to vote in South Dakota.
Contrary to what our Facebook feeds make it seem like, participating in our American democracy is not like supporting your favorite sports team. It's not about picking sides and beating opponents.
It's about choosing the direction our country takes in the future. No matter what the cynics say, each citizen has power. That means we have to vote. It's a big deal that has a big effect. It's our right and responsibility.
Official links and information from the State of South Dakota on how to register to vote.
South Dakota Election Dates 2024
- 2024 Primary Election - June 4, 2024
Voter Registration Deadline - May 20, 2024
Absentee voting begins - April 19, 2024
- 2024 General Election - November 5, 2024
Voter Registration Deadline - October 21, 2024
Absentee voting begins - September 20, 2024
How to Register To Vote in South Dakota
To vote in South Dakota you need to be registered. Whether it's a big presidential election, the congressional midterms, or your local city council, now is a great time to do it.
Remember it is always free to vote and to register. No matter your name, the state you once lived in, your address, or whatever.
It's also a good idea to double-check your voting information and make sure you are still on the list.
It's a quick and easy process to register to vote in South Dakota. To register, change your address or party affiliation: you can print and fill out this form and take it to your county auditor at your county courthouse (In Sioux Falls it's the office in the same hall as where you renew your plates). There are also other places to register, see below.
- GO HERE: South Dakota Voter Information Portal - Check your voter registration, precinct, and polling place information. You will also be able to see a sample ballot here when elections are coming up.
The requirements to register to vote in South Dakota:
- Be a United States citizen
- Reside in South Dakota (residency defined)
- Be at least 18 years old on or before the next election
- Not currently serving a sentence for a felony conviction which included imprisonment, served or suspended, in an adult penitentiary system (See additional felony information)
- Not be judged mentally incompetent by a court of law
Places you can go to register:
- County auditor's office
- Driver's license station
- Public assistance agencies providing food stamps, TANF or WIC
- Department of Human Services offices which provide assistance to the disabled
- Military recruitment offices
- Lincoln Country auditor's office: 104 N Main, St 110 Canton 57013, (605) 764-2581
- Minnehaha County auditor's office: 415 N Dakota Ave Sioux Falls 57104, (605) 367-4220
If you're not sure that you are registered to vote in South Dakota or need to know where your voting place is go to this page and find out.
If you or someone you know is in the military, here is some information about voting.
Voting in South Dakota: Basics and FAQs
- To vote you have to be registered. More info about registering to vote is here.
- On election day where you vote depends on where you live, go here to find out.
- Bring your ID. When you get to the polling place the workers will check your name on the registration list and give you a ballot. Take that ballot to one of the designated places in the room and fill out your ballot.
- In South Dakota, we use the 'fill in a circle with a pen' style ballots. Read the instruction and vote. When you're done you put it in the box and you're done.
Do I have to vote in every race or ballot question?
No. Leave it blank when you don't feel informed enough to make a decision. For example, some voters only want to vote for president and vice president. The races and public measures you choose to vote on will be counted and the races and public measures you do not vote on will not be counted.
As long as you mark your choice according to the instructions, all the votes you do make WILL be counted, your ballot WILL be valid even if you skip some parts.
How long may I stay in the polling booth?
There is no time limit. If you need to take your time reading and thinking, please do.
What if I make a mistake on my ballot?
You may request another paper ballot.
Will I still be able to vote if I am in line past 7:00 PM on Election Day?
Yes. Voters who are in line at their polling location by 7:00 PM are allowed to vote no matter how long it takes for each person to cast a ballot.
Can Someone Help Me Vote?
If you need some help because you are disabled or cannot read the ballot, federal law allows you to have a friend or relative assist you in the voting booth. Election employees/volunteers at the polling place can also help you.
My vote doesn't matter in this state, because it'll for sure go for a certain politician or party.
You don't know that. It's always worth casting your vote. Each of us cannot know the minds of the other voters.
Even if you're on the side of any issue or race that gets fewer votes, a close vote count (like 51%-49%) is an important message to send to the local, state, and national governments.
Will the Election Day Change or Be Moved?
No. No matter what a mailing, a phone call, a Facebook post, or what anyone says; election days do not normally move. If a disaster or national emergency forces the movement of an election day you will hear about it from every legitimate news source and local government officials.
Article 2 of the Constitution says the US Congress sets the election day. In the 1800s Congress set it as the first Tuesday after the First Monday in November.
Can People Approach Me, Talk To Me, Bother Me, Or Try To Make Me Vote A Certain Way At The Polling Place?
No. It is against the law in South Dakota to campaign at a polling place, interfere with a voter, or try to shame or encourage anyone to vote a certain way.
Statute 12-18-3. Electioneering, offices, distracting communications devices, and signature gathering prohibited near polling place--Violation as misdemeanor. Except for sample ballots and materials and supplies necessary for the conduct of the election, no person may, in any polling place or within or on any building in which a polling place is located or within one hundred feet from any entrance leading into a polling place, maintain a campaign office or public address system, or use any communication or photographic device in a manner which repeatedly distracts, interrupts, or intimidates any voter or election worker, or display campaign posters, signs, or other campaign materials or by any like means solicit any votes for or against any person or political party or position on a question submitted or which may be submitted. No person may engage in any practice which interferes with the voter's free access to the polls or disrupts the administration of the polling place, or conduct any petition signature gathering, on the day of an election, within one hundred feet of a polling place. For the purposes of this section, the term, polling place, means a designated place voters may go to vote on the day of the election or go to vote absentee. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor. -South Dakota Codified Law
Take a few minutes now to make sure you are still on the voter registration rolls and that all your info is up to date; do that here.
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