Under South Dakota Codified Law § 12-4-18, 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.
Impact of State and Federal Felony Convictions on Voting Rights
Deadline for voter registration for the June primary election: May 18, 2020
General election voter registration deadline: October 19,2020.
How to register:
Print the Voter Registration Form, fill-out the form, sign it and then submit it to your County Auditor. Your Voter Registration form with an original signature must be received by the auditor 15 days before any election if you wish to vote in that election. South Dakota law does not allow you to submit your voter registration form via fax or email.
You can use this form to:
Download your voter registration form HERE
Registered Voter with a Recent Name Change
If you have had a recent name change, we encourage you to update your voter registration. Download a voter registration form by visiting our Voter Registration Page. Please make sure to fill out the bottom portion of the registration form "Previous Voter Registration Information Required." Once completed, please mail the form to your County Auditor.
Wanting to Change Party Affiliation
If you decide to change your party affiliation, you must update your voter registration by completing a voter registration form, then mail or return to your County Auditor.
Wanting to Change Address
If you have had an address change, you must re-register to vote by completing a new voter registration form. Make sure to fill out the “Previous Voter Registration Information Required” section with your old address.
How to register:
Print the Voter Registration Form, fill-out the form, sign it and then submit it to your County Auditor. Your Voter Registration form with an original signature must be received by the auditor 15 days before any election if you wish to vote in that election.
South Dakota law does not allow you to submit your voter registration form via fax or email.
All voters who appear at a polling place must show proof of identification (SDCL12-18-6.1). Approved forms of photo identification include:
If you do not have a photo ID, you can sign a personal identification affidavit, and will still be allowed to vote a regular ballot.
If you are voting for the first time and intend to vote by absentee ballot, please visit our absentee voting page.
Am I Registered?
You are not registered to vote until your application has been processed and accepted by your county election official. If accepted, the county election official will send you an acknowledgement Notice. If you do not receive an acknowledgement notice within 15 days of the date you submitted your application, contact your county election official.To check if you are registered, visit the voter information portal. If you are not registered to vote, please visit our voter registration page.
The South Dakota Department of Public Safety offers resources for obtaining an ID.
IF you’re a non-driver or don’t have a South Dakota Driver’s License, an ID is a useful document.
To RENEW an ID you will need the following documents:
If you currently have a South Dakota federally compliant card with a gold star in the upper right corner, you may renew up to 180 days prior to your expiration date. You will need to provide:
New Applicants and Transfers from Out of State:
If you are a new applicant, a non-U.S. citizen, or a transfer from another state, you must provide proof of lawful status in the United States by providing a certified U.S. birth certificate (state certified only -- photocopies and hospital-issued certificates will not be accepted), a valid, non-expired U.S. Passport/Passport Card, a Certificate of Citizenship/Naturalization, a Permanent Resident Card, an Employment Authorization Card, or a Foreign Passport with a U.S. Visa/I-94. If you were born in a U.S. Territory, you'll need to provide a valid, non-expired U.S. Passport/Passport Card or a Consular Report of Birth Abroad instead of a birth certificate.
If you are a new applicant or a transfer from another state and your current driver license DOES NOT have a gold star in the upper corner, you will also be required to provide, your Social Security Card (showing your full social security number), a W-2 (showing your full social security number), a 1099 (showing your full social security number), or a pay stub (showing your full social security number). We can only accept original documents. No photocopies!
All applicants are required to provide two documents proving your residential/physical address. These documents must show your full name, your physical/residential address, and be less than one year old. Examples of such documents are a utility bill, a pay stub, a rent receipt, a phone bill, a bank statement, a mortgage document, a homeowner's insurance policy/bill, a tax document, your vehicle registration, etc.
2020 General Election - November 3, 2020
Absentee voting begins - September 18, 2020
Voter Registration Deadline - October 19, 2020
Click here for the 2020 Election Calendar
If you are unable to attend your polling place in person on Election Day, you may be eligible to vote by absentee ballot. To vote by absentee ballot, a voter must request an absentee ballot application from your County Election Official. The County Election Official will send a paper absentee ballot to the voter. The voter then completes the ballot and returns it to the County Election Official.
In South Dakota, the County Election Official must receive your application for absentee ballot no later than 5 p.m. the day before the election. Make sure you are registered before you apply to vote by absentee ballot. You can confirm your registration by visiting the Voter Information Portal.
If you are registered as an Independent/No Party Affiliation (NPA) and are requesting a Primary Election ballot, you may have a choice of voting a Democratic ballot or a Non-Political ballot. This is an option because the South Dakota Democratic Party has opened their party primary elections to allow voters who are registered as independent/NPA to vote in their primary. A Non-Political ballot is a ballot that only includes races where the candidates do not run with a political party affiliation and any local ballot measures (Examples include: school, city, special district, local ballot measure, etc.). On the absentee ballot application you must select if you want the Democratic ballot or Non-Political ballot. If you do not check one of those boxes, you will be sent the non-political ballot. If you do not mark a ballot selection and no non-political ballot is available, you will not receive a ballot.
In the event of confinement because of sickness or disability, a qualified voter may apply in writing and obtain an absentee ballot by authorized messenger. An authorized messenger delivers the ballot from the County Election Official to the qualified voter and then delivers the marked ballot to the County Election Official. Any application for a ballot by authorized messenger must be received by the person in charge of the election before 3:00 p.m. the day of the election.
Polling Places and Hours
To locate polling information: South Dakota Voter Information Portal: (VIP)
Many organizations offer free rides to polling places. Some of these include:
Voters who have a disability, physical limitations or limited English proficiency may ask for assistance at the polling place. Voters can contact your local County Election Official before Election Day if special arrangements are needed. Federal law requires all polling places to be accessible. If you feel your polling place is inaccessible, please contact your County Auditor.
The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) requires that each polling place for any Federal election provide a voting device equipped to allow voters with disabilities the means to vote independently and privately. South Dakota has chosen the ExpressVote by Election Systems and Software.
Voters wishing to use the ExpressVote in South Dakota will receive a paper ballot activator card. The voter will then insert the ballot activator card into the ExpressVote and an electronic version of the ballot will appear on the screen. The images of the ballot contests can be enlarged for easier reading, shown in reverse contrast, or turned off for privacy if a voter chooses to access the ballot by attached headphones and keypad. The audio description of the ballot can be used in place of or in conjunction with the visual version on the screen. The voter makes selections through the touch screen or keypad. (A voter may also bring an A/B switch to access the ExpressVote.)
The Election Assistance Commission offers tips for voters with disabilities.
If you feel you cannot vote on the day of the election, please fill out an absentee ballot application and mail it to your County Election Official by 5:00 pm the day before the election to receive an absentee ballot. Absentee voting begins 46 days prior to the primary and general elections.
Download an absentee ballot application by visiting the absentee voting page.
If you are seeking further assistance, please contact the following groups:
South Dakota Secretary of State
500 E. Capitol Ave, Ste. 204
Pierre, SD 57501
Fax: (605) 773-6580
Disability Rights South Dakota
2520 E. Franklin St. Ste 2
Pierre, SD 57501
Fax: (605) 224-5125
South Dakota Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities
221 S. Central Ave. Suite #34A
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone: (605) 945-2207
V/TDD: 1 (800) 210-0143
Fax: (605) 945-2422
In a Primary election, a voter is given only the ballot for the party which the voter is registered in, except for voters registered as an Independent or No Party Affiliation (NPA).
The following nominations are made in the party primary elections held on June 2, 2020:
In those areas of the state which have the following types of districts, nominations are made in a nonpartisan primary election:
Supreme Court - Voted on the general election ballot:
In those areas of the state which have the following types of districts, nominations are made in the general election:
The following will be nominated at the 2020 state conventions of each political party:
Codified laws re: appearing on ballots
12-6-3. Candidacy for more than one office in same election prohibited--Exceptions. No person's name may appear on the primary election ballot as a candidate for nomination to more than one public office in the same election, except that a person may be the candidate for any public office and the office of President of the United States, vice president of the United States, director of a water development district, or director of a consumer power district. A candidate for any such office is not prohibited from seeking election to one or more party offices as may be provided in chapter 12-5. If a candidate secures a nomination at a state party convention, the candidate shall withdraw as a candidate from one of the offices and submit the withdrawal to the secretary of state on or before the date on which the secretary of state receives the state party certification.
12-16-10.1. Candidacy for more than one office prohibited--Exception. No person's name may appear on the general election ballot as a candidate for election to more than one public office except for the office of President of the United States or vice president of the United States.
click here for information on the process: Voting in upcoming elections
South Dakota has three recognized political parties which may participate in the primary election--the Democratic Party, Libertarian Party and the Republican Party. These parties have adopted procedures according to law (SDCL 12-5-3.6) for selection of their delegates to the national political party conventions. This information is available from the party central committees. Their addresses and phone numbers are as follows:
Date of South Dakota's 2020 Primary Election - June 2, 2020
Voter Registration Deadline - May 18, 2020
Absentee voting begins - April 17, 2020
Date of South Dakota's 2020 General Election - November 3, 2020
Voter Registration Deadline - October 19, 2020
Absentee voting begins - September 18, 2020
State statute provides for a seven member State Board of Elections. The Secretary of State is the chairperson of the board. Other board members are appointed by legislative leadership which provides party balance. Two members are county auditors.
Click here for the meeting agenda and past minutes
Statute provides four main functions for the Board.
SDCL 12-1-9 provides the Board with rule-making authority to promulgate administrative rules dealing with many aspects of election conduct.
SDCL 12-1-10 requires the Board to make recommendations to the Secretary of State regarding desirable election law changes.
SDCL 12-1-21 designates the Board to resolve any complaints filed under Section 402 of the Help America Vote Act.
South Dakota Finance Complaint Process: forms and information
1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)
1-888-API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance)
Find useful voter information including:
Librarians from the Government Documents Round Table (GODORT), a Round Table of the American Library Association (ALA), created these reference guides. These guides are intended for informational purposes only and are not in any way intended to be legal advice.
These guides are designated with a Creative Commons license and re-use and modification for educational purposes is encouraged.