Voting in South Dakota

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South Dakota permits no-excuse absentee voting and early voting. It does not have a system for online voter registration. South Dakota voters are required to provide a valid form of photo identification on Election Day.

For full information about voting in South Dakota, contact the state election agency.


To vote in South Dakota, you must:[1]

  • Be a United States citizen
  • Reside in South Dakota (residency defined)
  • Be at least 18 years old on or before the next election
  • Not [be] 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[2]

—South Dakota Secretary of State

When and where

Registration must be completed by 15 days prior to any election. To register to vote, you may submit a form by mail to your local County Auditor or in person at any of 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[2]

—South Dakota Secretary of State

Online registration

See also: Online voter registration in the 50 states

As of May 2015, South Dakota is one of 30 states that have not implemented full online voter registration.

Voting on Election Day

Voter identification

See also: Voter identification laws by state

All voters must present photo identification. Approved forms of photo identification include the following: South Dakota driver’s license or nondriver ID card, U.S. government photo ID, U.S. military ID, student photo ID from a South Dakota high school or accredited institution of higher education, or tribal photo ID. If a voter does not have a photo ID, he or she can sign a personal identification affidavit.[3]

Poll times

See also: State Poll Opening and Closing Times

In South Dakota, all polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. If the polls close while you are still in line, you will be permitted to vote.[4]

South Dakota is divided between Central and Mountain time zones.

Primary voting

South Dakota is one of 21 states with a mixed primary system.[5]

Absentee voting

See also: Absentee voting


All voters are eligible to vote absentee in South Dakota. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.[6][7]


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.[6] A returned absentee ballot must then be received by the elections office by close of polls on Election Day.[8]

Military and overseas voting

For full details regarding military and overseas voting, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program.

Early voting

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.[9]

Election policy ballot measures

Voting on
elections and campaigns
Ballot measures
By state
By year
Not on ballot
See also: Elections and campaigns on the ballot and List of South Dakota ballot measures

Ballotpedia has tracked the following ballot measures relating to election and campaign policy in South Dakota.

  1. South Dakota Change the Voting Age, Amendment B (1994)
  2. South Dakota Coffey Primary Election Law (1914)
  3. South Dakota Limits on Lobbying, Initiative 10 (2008)
  4. South Dakota Nonpolitical Judicial Elections (1924)
  5. South Dakota Presidential Elections, Amendment G (1970)
  6. South Dakota Primary Election Law (1920)
  7. South Dakota Primary Elections Law (1924)
  8. South Dakota Residency Requirements, Amendment A (1970)
  9. South Dakota Richard's Primary Election Law, Measure 1 (1912)
  10. South Dakota Richard's Primary Law (1916)
  11. South Dakota Richard's Primary Law (1918)
  12. South Dakota Right of Suffrage, Amendment B (1974)
  13. South Dakota Superintendents of Schools Elections (1936)
  14. South Dakota Vote by Secret Ballot, Amendment K (2010)
  15. South Dakota Voter Registration (1964)
  16. South Dakota Voting Age, Amendment A (1972)
  17. South Dakota Voting Age, Amendment F (1970)
  18. South Dakota Voting Residence (1958)

Recent news

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See also

Elections in South Dakota

External links