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SOS Says Record Number Of Registered Voters This Year

Kent Osborne

The number of registered voters in South Dakota is at an all-time high, according to Secretary of State Shantel Krebs.

The number of registered Republicans in the state is the highest it’s been in over 10 years.


Almost 545,000 South Dakotans are registered to vote this year.  Secretary of State Shantel Krebs says the high registration is related to the current presidential election.   

Krebs says since 2006, the number of registered Republicans and Independents has increased, while the number of registered Democrats has decreased.

Dr. Pamela Carriveau is a political science professor for Black Hills State University. She says the high number of registered Republicans is the result of one party rule in South Dakota over the years…

“Which then also makes it harder to organize a Democratic Party, recruit Democrats, recruit Democratic candidates, and then mobilize Democratic vote in South Dakota," Carriveau says.

Registered Independents make up almost 22 percent of the registered electorate in the state. Carriveau says that’s a trend among younger voters…

“We know that millennials are less likely to affiliate with a specific party," Carriveau says. "So, as we have millennials growing up and entering the electorate, they may be more likely to say they are independent, rather than Democrat or Republican.”

Carriveau says that South Dakotans have always had high voter registration and voter turnout during elections. She says there’s a strong tradition of civic participation in South Dakota. 

Secretary of State Shantel Krebs adds that absentee ballot requests are set to surpass the number cast in 2012.

Absentee Ballots Requested as of November 2, 2016: 84,252
Absentee Ballots cast in 2012: 91,145


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