If you are unable to attend your polling place in person on Election Day, you may be eligible to vote by absentee ballot. To vote by absentee ballot, a voter must request an absentee ballot application from your County Election Official. The County Election Official will send a paper absentee ballot to the voter. The voter then completes the ballot and returns it to the County Election Official.
In South Dakota, the County Election Official must receive your application for absentee ballot no later than 5 p.m. the day before the election. Your voted ballot MUST be received by your County Election Official on Election Day in enough time to deliver your ballot to your voting precinct before the polls close. Make sure you are registered before you apply to vote by absentee ballot. You can confirm your registration by visiting the Voter Information Portal.
If you are registered as an Independent/No Party Affiliation (NPA) and are requesting a Primary Election ballot, you may have a choice of voting a Democratic ballot or a Non-Political ballot. This is an option because the South Dakota Democratic Party has opened their party primary elections to allow voters who are registered as independent/NPA to vote in their primary. A Non-Political ballot is a ballot that only includes races where the candidates do not run with a political party affiliation and any local ballot measures (Examples include: school, city, special district, local ballot measure, etc.). On the absentee ballot application you must select if you want the Democratic ballot or Non-Political ballot. If you do not check one of those boxes, you will be sent the non-political ballot. If you do not mark a ballot selection and no non-political ballot is available, you will not receive a ballot.
In the event of confinement because of sickness or disability, a qualified voter may apply in writing and obtain an absentee ballot by authorized messenger. An authorized messenger delivers the ballot from the County Election Official to the qualified voter and then delivers the marked ballot to the County Election Official. Any 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.