Jason M. Gant

Secretary of State

Voter Registration Drive Instructions

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for volunteering to assist in registering voters in South Dakota.  Our state traditionally has a high percentage of our citizens registered to vote and your efforts will help to further improve that statistic and more importantly make it even easier for our citizens to register to vote. 

There are several points that you should keep in mind as you assist in registering voters: 

  1. Be sure that the voter is indeed eligible to register to voter.  The qualifications are listed in the instructions on the registration form and in the oath which is signed by the voter.
  2. Make sure that the registration form is fully completed.  It is very important to have a complete residence address or physical description of where the voter lives for the county auditor to place the voter in the correct voting precinct.
  3. If the person completing the registration form is currently registered to vote, they must complete the cancellation portion of the form also.
  4. All private entities or individuals registering voters must provide the voter their contact information.  SDCL 12-4-3 
  5. All private entities or individuals registering voters shall file the completed registration form with the county auditor within ten days or by the voter registration deadline, whichever occurs first.  A violation of this is a Class 2 misdemeanor.  SDCL 12-4-3.2
  6. The deadline for registration cards to be returned to the county auditor in order for the person registering to be able to vote in the next election is 15 days prior to that election.  The auditor's office closes at 5:00pm.  It is imperative that every registration card which you are responsible for returning be received by the county auditor by that deadline.  If a card is not returned by that deadline the voter will be disenfranchised for that election and you, as the person responsible for returning the completed card, may be held legally responsible.  The National Voter Registration Act provides penalties for obstructing the registration process.  For your information, this information is reprinted on the reverse side.
  7. State law prohibits certain payments for registering voters.
  8. This blank Voter Registration Form may be printed and copied for voter registration drives. Download a voter registration form by clicking this button: Download Voter Registration Form

State Law

Payment prohibitions:

No person may employ, reward, or compensate any person to register voters based on the number of voters registered. Nothing in this section prohibits any person from hiring a person paid on an hourly or salaried basis to register voters. Any violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.  SDCL 12-4-52

No person may receive any wages, reward, or compensation for registering voters based on the number of voters registered. Nothing in this section prohibits any person from being employed on an hourly or salaried basis to register voters. Any violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.  SDCL 12-4-53

No person may employ, reward, or compensate any person to assist voters based on the number of voters assisted. Nothing in this section prohibits any person from hiring a person paid on an hourly or salaried basis to assist voters. Any violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.  SDCL 12-19-54

No person may receive any wages, reward, or compensation for assisting voters based on the number of voters assisted. Nothing in this section prohibits any person from being employed on an hourly or salaried basis to assist voters. Any violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.  SDCL 12-19-55 

National Voter Registration Act

Sec. 12 Criminal Penalties:

 A person, including an election official, who in any election for Federal office--

  1. knowingly and willfully intimidates, threatens, or coerces, or attempts to intimidate, threaten, or coerce, any person for--
    1. registering to vote, or voting, or attempting to register or vote;
    2. urging or aiding any person to register to vote, to vote, or to attempt to register or vote; or
    3. exercising any right under this Act; or
  2. knowingly and willfully deprives, defrauds, or attempts to deprive or defraud the residents of a State of a fair and impartially conducted election process, by--
    1. the procurement or submission of voter registration applications that are known by the person to be materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent under the laws of the State in which the election is held; or
    2. the procurement, casting, or tabulation of ballots that are known by the person to be materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent under the laws of the State in which the election is held, shall be fined in accordance with title 18, United States Code (which fines shall be paid into the general fund of the Treasury, miscellaneous receipts (pursuant to section 3302 of title 31, United States Code), notwithstanding any other law), or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

Thank you again for your conscientious efforts to register voters in South Dakota.

Revised August 4, 2008.