Letter to the editor

Get ready for upcoming election

Posted

With the start of the absentee voting period on April 22, another election cycle in South Dakota has begun. I want to use this opportunity to share important information regarding the upcoming primary election, which will be held June 7.

To request an absentee ballot, you must submit an absentee ballot application form to your county auditor. Absentee ballot application forms are available on the Secretary of State’s website at www.sdsos.gov or by contacting your county auditor. County auditor contact information is also available on our website. As required by state statute, the form must be notarized or accompanied by a copy of your photo ID. Acceptable photo identification cards include a South Dakota driver’s license or non-driver ID card, tribal photo ID, passport or other picture ID issued by the United States government or a current student photo ID issued by a South Dakota high school or postsecondary education institution. Voters also have the option to in-person absentee vote with your county auditor up to the day before the election.

The deadline for voter registration in South Dakota is 15 days prior to any election in which you plan to vote. That means anyone wishing to vote in the upcoming primary election must be registered by May 23. Our state has a great history of civic engagement that continues today with over 643,000 registered voters. I would encourage every eligible South Dakotan who is not yet registered to complete the process and ensure your voice can be heard.

Late last year, the South Dakota Legislature completed legislative redistricting. This process is completed every ten years to adjust legislative district boundaries to align with our changing population. As a result of this process, some of your voting district information may have changed. To verify if you were impacted, I would encourage you to contact your county auditor or visit the Voter Information Portal (VIP) on our website at https://vip.sdsos.gov/VIPLogin.aspx. On the VIP page, you’ll find a sample ballot along with polling location and absentee ballot information.

On Election Day, polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. local time. I would like to encourage anyone interested in becoming an election worker to contact their county auditor. Election workers, which are paid positions, play a crucial role in ensuring free, fair and accessible elections for all South Dakotans. These positions provide you with a rewarding opportunity to give back to your community and help strengthen our democracy.

The goal of all election officials in our state is to ensure every South Dakota voter has access to exercise their right to vote. Citizens exercising their right to vote is the foundation of our democracy, and I encourage everyone to participate.

Sincerely,

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