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Early, Absentee Voting For Primary Election Starts Today

Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)

Early voting or absentee voting starts Friday for South Dakota’s primary and special elections.

Registered voters can vote early or absentee until June 4.

One west river county auditor says they’re expecting a higher than normal turnout.

Of the 68,000 registered voters in Pennington County, Auditor Julie Pearson says she’s expecting a 35 percent turnout. She says that’s high for a primary.

She says that’s mainly due to two issues up for vote in Rapid City that aren’t party based – the Marsy’s Law adjustment and the referral of a new arena at the civic center.

“In Pennington, there are no Democrat primaries, so if you’re a democrat you will still have the city issue to vote on, which is a referral of the civic center question if you’re within Rapid City limits. Then, there’s a statewide issue," Pearson says. "So, everyone in Pennington County, regardless of your registration, will at least have a ballot to vote on. The Republican Party does have a primary ballot"

Pearson says the absentee ballot must arrive by mail before election day.

Pearson says voters can also cast their ballot in the Pennington County Courthouse complex starting today.

May 21 is the voter registration deadline. Pearson says registering takes no time at all.

“It’s very easy,” Pearson says. “We do request you bring your South Dakota drivers license with you, or you have to produce the last four numbers of your social security number if you don’t have a South Dakota driver’s license. That’s one of our security checks. It’s very easy. It’s a short form. Name, address, date of birth, party preference—if you want—and your drivers license number. Sign it. Date it. We load it. It takes us longer than it does you.”

Pearson says those registering to vote must show up at the Pennington County complex on Kansas City street in Rapid City to do so.