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Early voting begins in South Dakota

Published: Sep. 18, 2020 at 6:17 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -The November election is less than seven weeks away. However, some voters are already casting their ballots. South Dakota is one of several states that are now open for early voting.

Friday, in the Minnehaha County Auditor’s office staff, worked hard getting absentee ballot requests ready, so they could be mailed out. So far 23,000 absentee ballots have been requested.

Minnehaha County Auditor Bob Litz says absentee voting has always been a popular choice in Minnehaha County.

“It’s been a service, a lot of people like it and now that’s increased. It’s doubled, at least doubled,” said Litz.

He believes some of that is due to the pandemic.

To vote by absentee, you need to request an absentee ballot application from your county election official. Once that’s completed, a ballot will be mailed to you. Once filled out you can return it by mail or in-person to your county election official.

Litz asks that people turn in their absentee ballots sooner rather than later.

“What killed us last time during the primaries was everybody waited for the last days and we had 44 percent of the absentee ballots show up to process in the last six days and that’s just not feasible. So if you do that to us again we’ll be late with the results,” said Litz.

Folks are also able to do in-person early voting.

“It’s been very brisk and steady. Normally the first day is kind of spotty, a little sporadic, but this time here I think there is an enthusiasm in the air on both sides and folks are showing up for it,” said Litz.

Some voters like to get their vote in early, so they don’t have to worry about it.

“We go south for the winter and so we will be leaving pretty soon to do that. So it was a beautiful day and we thought we’d get here early and get our vote in,” said South Dakota Voter Pat Landeen.

In all of South Dakota, there are around 108,000 absentee ballot requests according to Secretary of State Steve Barnett

He wants those voting by absentee to know that their vote will be secure.

“Confidence in our absent process where an ‘owness’ is put on our voters because they have to fill out an absentee application form and that signature on the form is compared to the one on the back of the ballot envelope and so any of that form has to be accompanied by a photo ID or notarized. So we are very confident in our election this fall,” said Barnett.

The deadline for voter registration is October 19th.

For more information on voting in this year’s election visit the Secretary of State website at sdsos.gov. https://sdsos.gov/elections-voting/voting/absentee-voting.aspx

Copyright 2020 Dakota News Now. All rights reserved.

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