South Dakota Election Information

Upcoming Elections in Your State

November 3, 2020 – General Election

Voter Registration Deadlines & Important Dates
  • September 18: First day for absentee voting
  • October 19: Deadline for voter registration
  • November 2: Deadline to request an absentee ballot
  • November 3: Absentee ballot can be requested by 3:00 pm using an authorized messenger.

Polls are open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm

For more information, visit the South Dakota Secretary of State’s website.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

When You Can Vote

Election Day:

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time on Election Day.

South Dakota does not have early voting.  However, anyone can vote absentee by mail or absentee in-person at their County Auditor’s office and selected locations.  For more information see https://sdsos.gov/elections-voting/assets/AbsenteeBallotPamphlet.pdf.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

Where You Can Vote

How to Find Your Polling Place:

Visit the South Dakota Secretary of State’s Voter Information Portal.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

Registering to Vote

Registration Deadlines:

Residents of South Dakota must fill out a voter registration form. The forms must be sent to, and received by, the resident’s County Auditor 15 days before an election (i.e. May 18, 2020 for the 2020 primary election and October 19, 2020 for the 2020 general election). 

How to Check Your Registration: Use South Dakota Secretary of State’s Voter Information Portal or call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

Registration Eligibility: In order to be eligible to register in South Dakota, you must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States;
  • Reside in South Dakota;
  • Be at least 18 years old on or before Election Day;
  • Not currently serving a sentence for a felony conviction, which included imprisonment, served or suspended, in an adult penitentiary system (see additional felony information); and
  • Not judged mentally incompetent by a court of law.

How to Register: South Dakota residents may register in person or by mail.

In Person

You may register to vote in person in any of the following ways:

  • When applying for or renewing your driver’s license;
  • At the County Auditor’s office;
  • At the City Finance Office;
  • At Public assistance agencies providing food stamps, TANF or WIC;
  • At the Department of Human Services offices which provide assistance to the disabled; and
  • At Military recruitment offices
  • At the Secretary of State’s Office

By Mail

In order to register by mail, you must:

Identification Required for Registration: Voters may register to vote without identification, but they must provide a form of identification when they vote at the polls on Election Day.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

Voting Early & by Absentee Ballot

South Dakota absentee ballot information sheet.

If You Want to Vote Early

South Dakota does not have early voting, but voters who qualify for absentee voting may vote absentee in person, by mail, or through an authorized messenger.

If You Want to Vote Absentee

Any registered voter may vote absentee in South Dakota.

  • Voters must complete and submit a signed absentee ballot application to the county auditor of the county in which he/she is registered to vote.
  • The application must include a copy of one of the accepted forms of ID; or
  • the voter’s signature must be notarized, except for overseas and stateside military, overseas citizens, or a spouse or dependent of the same.

General Rules and Deadlines

  • An absentee ballot application must be turned in no later than 5 PM the day before the election.
    • For the 2020 Primary Election, this is June 2, 2020.
    • For the 2020 General Election, this is November 3, 2020.
  • If an absentee ballot is delivered to a polling place after the polls are closed, the absentee ballot will not be counted nor opened.
  • An application for absentee ballot is only good for the calendar year in which it is signed.

Sickness/Disability Voting

If a qualified voter is unable to attend his or her polling place on Election Day because of confinement due to sickness or disability, he/she may request an absentee ballot in writing by naming an authorized messenger who will deliver the ballot to him/her.

  • A voter may still apply to vote through an authorized messenger even after the absentee deadline.
  • However, all such applications are due no later than 3 p.m. on Election Day.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

Identification Requirements

Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot

Valid forms of ID are:

  • Valid South Dakota driver’s license or non-driver ID card;
  • United States government photo ID (valid U.S. passport is acceptable);
  • United States Armed Forces ID;
  • Valid tribal ID containing a photo; and
  • Current student photo ID issued by a South Dakota high school or accredited postsecondary school located in South Dakota.

Without one of these forms of identification, a voter must be given the opportunity to sign a personal ID affidavit confirming their name and address when voting.

There is one primary exception to the photo identification requirement:

  • A voter who is a member of the military and stationed abroad or who resides overseas eligible to vote by absentee ballot pursuant to the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) is not required to provide ID when voting an absentee ballot.

There is no requirement for a voter’s registration address to match the address on their ID.

VoteRiders has created South Dakota voter ID info cards in English and in Spanish.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

If You Have Moved Within Your State

Moving within the Same County

Any person whose name appears on the inactive registration list at a precinct, may vote in any election following completion of an affirmation of the person’s address in South Dakota.  If the voter has moved to a new address within South Dakota, the affirmation serves as a new registration.

Moving Between Counties

Any person whose name appears on the inactive registration list at a precinct, may vote in any election following completion of an affirmation of the person’s address in South Dakota.  If the voter has moved to a new address within South Dakota, the affirmation serves as a new registration.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

If You Are in the Military or Are an Overseas Voter

Members of the military and overseas citizens who are unable to attend a polling place in person on Election Day may obtain an absentee ballotUnder the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA)members of the military and overseas citizens are allowed to submit their application for absentee ballot electronically (fax or email).

Members of the Military

Overseas Citizen Voter

If you have a current, valid South Dakota Driver’s License you may use the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Electronic Voter Registration Portal to request an absentee ballot.

Overseas citizens without a current, valid South Dakota driver’s license must:

1) Download and fill out a voter registration form;

2) Download and fill out an absentee ballot request form—be sure to enter your email address in     box #6 in order to receive your ballot via email;

3) Once you receive your ballot via email, print and fill it out;

4) Mail your signed and completed registration and ballot request forms (originals only) to your             County Auditor listed here

Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot

The Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) is a back-up ballot that can be used by UOCAVA voters who have requested an absentee ballot, but who have not received it in a timely manner. If you have not received an absentee ballot that you have requested, visit the FVAP’s South Dakota-specific FWAB page.

  • A FWAB returned to the County Election Official will be handled and counted the same way as an absentee ballot.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

If You Have a Felony Conviction

Persons convicted of a felony on or after July 1, 2012

  • A person convicted of a felony in either federal or state court on or after July 1, 2012 loses the right to vote.
  • A person so disqualified becomes eligible to register to vote upon completion of his or her entire sentence (must complete probation, parole and restitution).
  • A person who receives a suspended imposition of sentence does not lose the right to vote.

Persons convicted of a felony on or before June 30, 2012

For persons convicted of a felony in federal court, the following rules apply:

  • Individuals who are sentenced only to probation retain the right to vote.
  • Individuals who are sentenced only to pay a fine or restitution retain the right to vote.
  • Individuals who are sentenced to a term of imprisonment lose the right to vote for as long as the individual is serving a term of imprisonment, including supervised release.

For persons convicted of a felony in state court, the following rules apply:

  • Individuals who are sentenced only to probation retain the right to vote. A sentence of probation only may include fines, fees, restitution and other conditions associated with the sentence of probation.
  • Individuals who are and sentenced only to pay a fine or restitution retain the right to vote.
  • Individuals who receive a suspended imposition of sentence retain the right to vote.
  • Individuals who receive a suspended execution of sentence to the adult state penitentiary system lose the right to vote during the term of the suspended sentence.
  • Individuals who receive a sentence to the adult state penitentiary system lose the right to vote during the term of imprisonment. The loss of voting rights continues as long as the individual is physically incarcerated or on parole.
  • Juveniles adjudicated as delinquent or as a child in need of supervision and sentenced to incarceration in a juvenile detention facility retain the right to vote once they have reached eighteen years of age.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

Election Protection Materials

FAQ

For more information for voters with disabilities, find a National Disability Rights Network partner in your area.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!