Over 1 in 3 of South Dakota registered voters have requested an absentee ballot

Mail-in vote file photo.
Mail-in vote file photo.(Pixabay)
Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 3:31 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Just under a week away from the election, the number of people voting by mail in South Dakota has nearly doubled compared to 2016.

The South Dakota Secretary of State’s Office has sent out 201,601 absentee ballots as of Wednesday, election officials tell Dakota News Now. This means over 35% of the state’s 565,000 registered voters have requested to vote by mail for the Nov. 3 election.

Of those ballots sent out, the state has already received back a vast majority - 179,926, or 89%. In addition, 67,462 South Dakotans have voted early in-person at an auditor’s office. So in total, nearly 44% of eligible South Dakota voters have already cast their ballot.

In the 2016 general election, the state received requests for 104,715 absentee ballots - which was just under 20% of all registered voters. Officials said nearly 98% of those were turned in.

Voting by mail has spiked across the country this year as millions look to avoid going to the polls amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Many analysis’s predict this year’s presidential election between President Donald Trump and his challenger Joe Biden could have the highest voter turnout in recent memory. A recent survey by the Pew Research Center found multiple indicators that voter turnout could historic levels this year.

Voter turnout in the 2016 election in South Dakota was 69.6%, well above the national average of 55%.

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