of the Military
If you are a member of the military and want to register to vote, please register
to vote and send your application to your County Election Official.
Absentee Ballot Applications
If you are a member of the military and unable to attend your polling place in person
on Election Day, you may be eligible to vote by absentee ballot. Absentee electors
in military service may obtain an absentee ballot several ways:
- Fill out and print an absentee ballot application and mail it to your County Election
- Request that the state e-mail an absentee ballot application to your e-mail account.
To do this, contact your County Election Official, visit the Voter Information Portal,
or visit the Deployed and Overseas Citizens tab on this website.
- Complete and send a Federal Post Card Application Form (Federal Form Number 76A),
distributed by the United States Department of Defense and send it to your County
Election Official to request an absentee ballot.
If you have questions regarding registering or voting in South Dakota as a member
of the military or if you would like the state to mail you a paper voter registration
or absentee ballot application, contact the Secretary of State’s Office at (605)773-3537
There are also several important things to keep in mind:
- Only you or an adult member of your immediate family may submit your application
for an absentee ballot.
- If you are home on Election Day and have not voted by absentee ballot, you may,
if registered, appear at your election district polling place and vote.
- If you are not registered, the voter registration deadline is 15 days before the
A military member may receive an absentee ballot electronically. If you want to
receive your ballot in this manner, mark the e-mail preference in block 4 on your
Federal Post Card Application Form (Federal Form Number 76A) or personally contact
your County Election Official by e-mail or phone. You will be notified by e-mail
when your ballot is available to download from www.sdsos.gov/deployed. If you do
not choose to receive an absentee ballot electronically, your ballot will be mailed
Members of the military voting by absentee ballot must have their ballots received
at their polling location prior to the polls closing. If an absentee ballot is delivered
to a polling place after the polls are closed, the absentee ballot will not be counted
Special Write-In Absentee Ballots
Members of the military who are outside the United States on Election Day might
receive a special write-in absentee ballot. Election Officials use write-in ballots
when they are required by law to provide absentee ballots to absentee voters, but
official absentee ballots have not yet been printed.
The special write-in ballot includes all of the offices and questions that will
appear on the official ballots for the election district, but not the names of the
candidates for the offices. Instead, Election Officials will provide a separate
list of candidates who have filed to appear on the official ballot and who have
not withdrawn or had their names removed from the ballot by a court.
A special write-in absentee ballot returned to the County Election Official will
be handled and counted the same way as an absentee ballot cast on an official absentee
Learn more about voting by absentee ballot.
Federal Voting Assistance Program
If you will be out of the country and wish to vote, the Federal Voting Assistance
Program will guide you through the process at www.fvap.gov.