South Dakota primary voting up after state sends out absentee requests

Published: Jun. 16, 2020 at 8:45 AM CDT
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State election officials say voting numbers were up during this year's South Dakota presidential primary.

Secretary of State Steve Barnet said the state sent absentee ballot request forms to all registered voters over concerns some might be hesitant to head to the polls due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Barnett told Dakota Radio Group a total of 154,328 votes were cast on the June 2 primary, making for a turnout of 28.2 percent. Over half of those votes - 87,894 ballots - were by absentee.

In the 2016 primary, only 126,128 votes were cast, which is just under 22 percent turnout. 17,553 of those ballots were by absentee.

Barnett said he thinks it was worth the effort and expense. However, the state will not be sending out another absentee request before the general election. Barnett said voters will still have the traditional absentee request options.

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