South Dakota

Elections & Voting in South Dakota

Election day is November 5

  • September 20                         Absentee voting begins
  • October 21                               Voter registration deadline
  • November 4                            Deadline request an absentee ballot
  • November 5                            Deadline to return an absentee ballot by mail
  • November 5                            General Election


To register to vote in South Dakota, you must:

  • Be a United States citizen
  • Reside in South Dakota
  • Be at least 18 years old on or before the next election
  • Not currently serving a sentence for a felony conviction
  • Not be judged mentally incompetent by a court

* Under South Dakota Codified Law § 12-4-18, a person currently serving a felony conviction in either federal or state court shall be removed from the voter registration records. A person so disqualified becomes eligible to register to vote upon completion of his or her entire sentence (must complete probation, parole, restitution; including all fines and fees). A person who receives a suspended imposition of sentence does not lose the right to vote


How to register to vote:

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. South Dakota does not allow same-day voter registration.

You may also register to vote at the following locations:

  • County auditor’s office
  • Driver’s license station (when you are renewing or applying for a driver’s license you may also register to vote on the driver’s license application)
  • City Finance Office
  • Public assistance agencies providing food stamps, TANF or WIC
  • Department of Human Services offices which provide assistance to the disabled
  • Military recruitment offices


Voter ID Requirements

All voters who appear at a polling place must show proof of identification. Approved forms of photo identification include:

  • A South Dakota driver’s license or nondriver identification card
  • A passport or an identification card, including a picture, issued by an agency of the United States government
  • A tribal identification card, including a picture
  • A current student identification card, including a picture, issued by a high school or an accredited institution of higher education, including a university, college, or technical school, located within the State of South Dakota.

If a voter is not able to present a form of personal identification, the voter may complete an affidavit in lieu of the personal identification.

Visit VoteRiders for more information on voter ID requirements in South Dakota.


Absentee Voting

Any registered South Dakota voter can request an absentee ballot and vote by mail. Absentee ballots can be requested in person at a local election office or by printing out a form and mailing it in to your County Election Official. Absentee ballots cannot be requested online.

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. Your voted ballot MUST be received by your County Election Official on Election Day in enough time to deliver your ballot to your voting precinct before the polls close.


Early In-Person Voting

Early Voting begins 46 days before the election (in-person absentee voting) and ends the day before Election Day.




Tribes in South Dakota

Federally recognized tribes

  • Yankton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota
  • Rosebud Sioux Tribe of the Rosebud Indian Reservation
  • Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation
  • Oglala Sioux Tribe
  • Lower Brule Sioux Tribe of the Lower Brule Reservation
  • Crow Creek Sioux Tribe of the Crow Creek Reservation
  • Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe of South Dakota
  • Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe of the Cheyenne River Reservation

State recognized tribes

  • None


Native Vote Coordinator

Sign up to be a local Native Vote coordinator today!


Major Party Contact Information

Chair, Shane Merrill


Chair, John Wiik

Posted in States.