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2004 South Dakota Summary of Voting Changes

2004 Election Procedure Changes


All voters will be required to provide identification before voting or obtaining an absentee ballot.  The personal identification that may be presented shall either be:

(1)   A South Dakota driver’s license or nondriver identification card;

(2)   A passport or an identification card, including a picture, issued by an agency of the United States government;

(3)   A tribal identification card, including a picture; or

(4)   An identification card, including a picture, issued by a high school or an accredited institution of higher education, including a university, college, or technical school, located within the State of South Dakota.

If a voter is not able to present personal identification, the voter may complete an affidavit in lieu of the personal identification. 

Absentee Voting

Any registered voter may vote by absentee ballot.  Voters do not need to provide a reason in order to absentee vote. 

  • Absentee ballots are available six weeks prior to the election.
  • An absentee voter desiring to vote by mail may apply to the person in charge of the election for an absentee ballot.  The application shall be made in writing and be signed by the applicant and state the applicant’s voter registration address.  The application shall contain an oath verifying the information contained in the application.  The oath shall be administered by a notary public or other officer authorized by statute to administer an oath.
  • If the application does not contain an oath, it shall be accompanied by a copy of the voter’s identification card. 
  • If the absentee voter applies for a ballot in person, the voter must show the person in charge of the election the voter’s identification card or complete a personal identification affidavit. 
  • In the event of sickness or confinement, a qualified voter may request an absentee ballot in writing, naming an authorized messenger who will deliver the ballot to the voter.  An application for a ballot by authorized messenger must be received by the person in charge of the election before 3:00 p.m. the day of the election.
  • The voter must sign a statement on the absentee ballot envelope prior to returning the ballot.  All voted ballots must be returned to the person in charge of the election in time to be delivered to the appropriate polling place prior to the closing of the polls. 

Provisional Ballots

  • If any person is not authorized to vote, is successfully challenged, or is otherwise denied the ability to vote and the person maintains that he or she is currently registered to vote in that precinct, the person may cast a ballot which shall be called a provisional ballot.
  • The voter must complete an affirmation for a provisional ballot.  Provisional ballots are not counted on election night.  The person in charge of the election will investigate the following day to determine if that voter was properly registered in that precinct.  If the information found determines that the voter was properly registered, then that provisional ballot will be counted.  The voter will receive notification of whether his/her provisional ballot was counted or not and if not, an explanation of why it was not counted. 
  • By voting a provisional ballot, your vote may not be secret if only one provisional ballot is cast in that precinct.

Instructions to Voters


If you make a mistake, give the ballot back and get a new one.

If you cast more votes than allowed in a race, give the ballot back and get a new one.  (If you cast more votes than allowed in a race, your votes for that race will not be counted.)


The Election Board at your polling place on election day is there to help you if you have questions.

• Voting Rights

Any voter who can’t mark a ballot because the voter has a physical disability or can’t read, may ask any person they choose to help them vote.

Any voter may ask for instruction in the proper procedure for voting.

Any voter at the polling place prior to 7:00 p.m. is allowed to cast a ballot.

If your voting rights have been violated, you may call the person in charge of the election, the Secretary of State at 888-703-5328, or your state’s attorney.