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Polling Place Accessibility

Getting Assistance While Voting

Woman using AutoMarkVoters who have a disability or physical limitations may ask for assistance at the polling place. Voters can contact your local County Election Official before Election Day if special arrangements are needed. Federal law requires all polling places to be accessible. If you feel your polling place is inaccessible, please contact your County Auditor.

The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) requires that each polling place for any Federal election provide a voting device equipped to allow voters with disabilities the means to vote independently and privately. South Dakota has chosen the ExpressVote by Election Systems and Software.

Voters wishing to use the ExpressVote in South Dakota will receive a paper ballot activator card. The voter will then insert the ballot activator card into the ExpressVote and an electronic version of the ballot will appear on the screen. The images of the ballot contests can be enlarged for easier reading, shown in reverse contrast, or turned off for privacy if a voter chooses to access the ballot by attached headphones and keypad. The audio description of the ballot can be used in place of or in conjunction with the visual version on the screen. The voter makes selections through the touch screen or keypad. (A voter may also bring an A/B switch to access the ExpressVote.)

The ExpressVote warns of undervotes and will not allow overvotes. The voter may make changes before the ballot is marked. The voter is provided a summary of selections. When the voter selects “Mark Ballot,” the voters’ selections are printed and the ballot activator card is ejected. The ExpressVote keeps no record of votes. It is a paper-based, electronic ballot marking device.

If a marked ballot is inserted back into the ExpressVote, the touch screen will display the selections marked on the ballot. The headphones will also describe the selections marked on that ballot simultaneously.

The voter takes the marked ballot card to the precinct ballot box for casting. All ballots-whether voted by pen or ExpressVote go into the same ballot box. A ballot privacy sleeve is provided to all voters.

The ExpressVote can serve every eligible voter, including those with special needs. As a fully compliant ADA voting solution, the ExpressVote allows both standing and seated voters to mark and cast their ballot activator cards independently. An accessible keypad equipped with braille and the ability to use rocker panel and Sip-and-Puff devices make ExpressVotes key in South Dakota elections.

Absentee Voting

If you feel you cannot vote on the day of the election, please fill out an absentee ballot application and mail it to your County Election Official by 5:00 pm the day before the election to receive an absentee ballot. Absentee voting begins 46 days prior to the primary and general elections.

Download an absentee ballot application by visiting the absentee voting page.

If you are seeking further assistance, please contact the following groups:

South Dakota Secretary of State
500 E. Capitol Ave, Ste. 204
Pierre, SD 57501
(605) 773-3537
Fax: (605) 773-6580

Disability Rights South Dakota
2520 E. Franklin St. Ste 2
Pierre, SD 57501
1-800-658-4782 (Voice/TTY)
Fax: (605) 224-5125

South Dakota Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities
221 S. Central Ave. Suite #34A
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone: (605) 945-2207
V/TDD: 1 (800) 210-0143
Fax: (605) 945-2422