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Municipal and School Information

Election Calendars

2020 Municipal Election Calendar

2020 School Election Calendar

2020 City and/or School Combining with the County on the 2020 Primary date Calendar

Election Resources

Absentee Voting Process for Cities and Schools- last updated November 21, 2019

2020 Precinct Manual - last updated November 22, 2019

School Opt Out Election Timeline

Tax Limitation and Opt Out Information for all taxing districts and for school districts

Forms of Notices

How to Circulate Municipal and County Initiatives and Referendums

Municipal Recall Election Guidelines

Municipal & School Recount Manual 

Register to vote

Kinship Chart

Voters in school districts are limited to specific issues they may use the referendum process for. To refer a school board decision to the vote of the people, these are the issues that may be referred:

Nominating Petitions

WARNING: State law requires that each petition sheet be self-contained. This means that the petition heading, instructions to signers, signature lines and circulator's verification must all be printed on each sheet prior to circulation. The sheet must be printed on front and back. You CANNOT tape, staple or glue the front and back sides together. You CANNOT include sheets with signature lines only.  If you have any questions about how to correctly prepare a petition sheet, please call the elections department at 773-3537.

Learn how to circulate a Municipal Nominating Petition
*Signature requirements can be found at SDCL 9-13-9

  • First and Second Class cities
    • At large candidates need a minimum of 5% of the registered voters of the municipality based upon the number of registered voters recorded by the county auditor on the second Tuesday of January of the year of the election. No more than 50 signatures required.
    • Alderman (Wards) candidates need a minimum of 5% of the registered voters of the ward based upon the number of registered voters recorded by the county auditor on the second Tuesday of January of the year of the election. No more than 50 signatures required.
    • Voters may sign as many petitions as there are positions. 
  • Third class cities
    • At large candidates need not less than three signatures of registered voters within the municipality.
    • Alderman (Wards) candidates need not less than three signatures of registered voters of the ward.
    • Voters may sign as many petitions as they choose.

Municipal Nominating petition in Legal Size
Municipal Nominating petition in Letter Size

Learn how to circulate a School Board Nominating Petition
*A minimum of 20 signatures is required (SDCL 13-7-6)

School Board Nominating petition in Legal Size
School Board Nominating petition in Letter Size

Candidate Nominating Petition Validation Checklist

  • Cities- please note that you are not required to check voter registration on nominating petitions. 
  • Schools- please note that you are required to check voter registration on nominating petitions.  ARSD: 05:02:08:00

2019-2020 Municipal / School Election Workshops

Click here for registration.

Workshop agenda may be found here.

Election Worker Training - (PDF document - no audio) (September 2019)

September 19, 2019 - In-person training at the Drifters, Ft. Pierre, 10:00 am to 3:30 pm (Central time); Registration begins at 9:30; Working lunch

  • We encourage new Finance Officer’s and Business Manager’s to attend the in-person training or to make sure they attend all the webinars. The information is listed below.
  • We will host two webinars on each date. The webinar times are 9:30 am and 2:30 pm (CT).
  • Contact the SDML to register:
  • Prior to each webinar we will send the login information to the SDML to forward to those that have pre-registered. 

Webinar 1: Thursday, December 5, 2019 
9:30 AM - 10:15 AM CT / 2:30 PM - 3:15 PM CT

  • Election Types and Date (don’t forget to set your election date)
  • Combining elections vs. holding elections on the same day
  • Election Calendar (appoint your election boards sooner rather than later)
  • Precinct and Election Boards
  • Public Notices
  • We will walk through our website and the Legislative Research Council’s site if time allows

Webinar 2: Wednesday, December 11, 2019
9:30 AM - 10:40 AM CT / 2:30 PM - 3:40 PM CT

  • Candidate Eligibility Requirements
  • Petitions - Forms, Deadlines, Signature Requirements (change for cities) and Counting Signatures (walk through the petition checklist).  New petition challenge law.
  • What if no one files?
  • Financial Interest Statements (these must be filed every year for applicable cities and schools)
  • Vacancies - What Creates a Vacancy and How to Fill It
  • Campaign Finance (for applicable cities and schools) - Who is Required to File, Restrictions, Disclaimers and Forms

Webinar 3: Wednesday, January 8, 2020
9:30 AM - 10:10 AM CT / 2:30 PM - 3:10 PM CT

  • Ballot Preparation
  • Who Can Vote - Voter Registration and Residency

Webinar 4: Thursday, January 9, 2020
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM CT / 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM CT

  • Absentee Voting - Application, Voting In-Person or by Mail, UOCAVA Voters (we will walk through our handout)

Webinar 5: Wednesday, January 22, 2020
9:30 AM - 11:00 AM CT / 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM CT

  • Election Worker Training - you may use this to train your election workers
    • We will walk through the Precinct Manual as a guide on “What to do on Election Day.”

Webinar 6: Thursday, January 23, 2020
9:30 AM - 10:00 AM CT / 2:30 PM - 3:00 PM CT

  • What to ask your county auditor for (Voter registration list, schools make sure to ask for all the counties your district covers etc.)
  • What should you, as the person in charge of the election, do on Election Day?
  • Counting, Canvassing and Recounting - Provisional Ballots, Duties of Canvassers and Recount Process

Helpful Links

South Dakota Municipal League

Associated School Boards of South Dakota

South Dakota County Auditors

South Dakota Municipal Finance Officers

South Dakota School Business Managers