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COVID-19 Voting Update: Any registered voter in South Dakota can request an absentee ballot to vote by mail. Voters were able to do this prior to the pandemic.

[updated September 4, 2020]


Check your registration status:

Register to vote:

Vote absentee:

Track your absentee ballot:

Find your polling location:

Find your sample ballot:

Campus Vote Project:


MediaWise is a nonprofit, nonpartisan project of the Poynter Institute and supported by Facebook. Complexly is an MVP partner, as are Campus Vote Project and Students Learn, Students Vote.
Hey South Dakota, Before you vote, you’ve gotta be registered.

If you’re not sure if you’re registered already, You can check using the link in the description. If you’re not registered yet, or you’ve moved or changed your name since the last time you voted, you’ll need to fill out a registration form.

To register in South Dakota, you’re going to have to fill out a form on actual paper. Probably the easiest way to do it, as long as you have a printer and a stamp, is print out the form that’s linked below and mail it in. You can also fill out a form in person at your County auditor’s office, city finance office, driver’s license office or public assistance agency.

There’s links to their locations and hours below. Either way you register, you’ve gotta do it by October 19th if you want to vote in the November general election. Once you’re registered, you get to vote.

If you want to vote without even having to leave your house, you can download an absentee ballot application in the links below, fill it out, and mail it to your county election official. You can request an absentee ballot all the way up until November 2nd, but make sure you leave enough time for your election officials to get your application in the mail, process it, and then mail your ballot back to you. Once your ballot shows up in the mail, and you fill it out at your own pace and send it back or drop it off at your County Election official’s office by November 3rd.

You can also skip the whole mail thing and go to your county election’s office from September 19th to November 2nd, to apply for your absentee ballot in person and then vote it right away before you leave. If you want to vote in person on November 3rd, polls are open from 7am to 7pm and you can figure out where you’re supposed to go at the link in the description. You’ll need to bring an ID with you, like a driver’s license or state ID, military ID, student ID from a high school or college in South Dakota, or tribal ID.

If you don’t have any of those, you can still sign a personal identification affidavit, basically a document that promises you are who you say you are, and they’ll allow you to vote. You should also consider bringing a sample ballot with you. You can find one on the same website you used to look up your polling place.

It’ll tell you everything that you’ll be able to vote for in this election. You don’t have to vote for every single thing on the ballot for it to count, but if you want a chance to do some research on the candidates in your local elections, it’s a pretty good idea to look at a sample ballot first. You can even fill it out and bring it to the polls with you, so you can be sure you remember how you want to vote.

The best thing to do if you want to vote this year is to make a plan to vote right now— from what day you’re going to register to whether you are going to vote in person or absentee. What kind of ID you’re going to use, and where it is, even what time you’re going to vote and how you’re going to get there. Write it down, put it in your notes app, text it to your friend, just make a plan so that nothing unexpected stops you from being counted on November 3rd.

There will be links for everything you need to check your registration, vote absentee, or find your polling location are in the description. Thanks for being a voter. How To Vote in Every State is produced by Complexly in partnership with The MediaWise Voter Project, which is led by The Poynter Institute and supported by Facebook.