Voting in South Dakota
Voting in 2014 Primaries
Ballot access for major and minor party candidates
Absentee voting • Early voting
Open Primary • Closed Primary • Blanket Primary
Online voter registration in the 50 states
To vote in South Dakota, you must meet the following requirements:
- 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
When and where
You may print a Voter Registration Form, complete it, sign it and then send it to your county auditor, download a registration form or, fill-out the on-line form, print and send. The deadline for registration is 15 days before any election. Your card must be received by the auditor by this deadline if you are to vote in the next election.
In addition you may register in the following locations:
- County auditor's office
- City finance 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
- Mail-in registration with cards from the county auditor's office or from one of the links above
As of August 2014, South Dakota is one of the 35 states that have not implemented online voter registration.
Voting on election day
All voters must show a photo ID or sign an affidavit when voting. Approved forms of photo identification include: South Dakota driver’s license or nondriver ID card, U.S. government photo ID, U.S. Armed Forces ID, student photo ID from a South Dakota high school or South Dakota accredited institution of higher education or Tribal photo ID. If you do not have a photo ID, you can sign a personal identification affidavit.
- See also: State Poll Opening and Closing Times
South Dakota is divided between Central and Mountain time zones.
South Dakota is one of 21 states with a mixed primary system. Parties decide who may vote. Registered Democrats and unaffiliated voters may vote in the Democratic primary. Only registered Republicans may vote in the Republican primary.
- See also: Absentee voting
To vote absentee, an absentee ballot application must be received by the county election official no later than 5 p.m. the day before the election. A returned absentee ballot must then be received by the elections office by close of polls on election day.
Military and overseas voting
For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.
- See also: Early voting
South Dakota is one of 34 states that has early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Completed ballots must be returned to the county election official by close of polls on Election Day.
- South Dakota Secretary of State, "Register to Vote," accessed June 10, 2014
- DMV.org, "Voter Registration in South Dakota," accessed June 10, 2014
- South Dakota Secretary of State, "2014 Election Calendar," accessed January 3, 2013
- South Dakota Secretary of State Website, "Registration & Voting," accessed January 3,2014
- South Dakota Secretary of State, "Voting by Absentee Ballot," accessed December 16, 2013
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "Absentee and Early Voting," accessed December 16, 2013
- Long Distance Voter, "South Dakota Absentee Ballot Guide," accessed December 16, 2013
- Rock the Vote "South Dakota Election Information," accessed December 16, 2013