PIERRE — Registered South Dakota voters have the option of absentee voting by mail or in person. Secretary of State Jason Gant said absentee voting opens Friday for the Nov. 6 General Election.
“To vote absentee by mail, voters must complete an absentee ballot application, sign it and either have it notarized or provide a copy of their photo identification card before returning it,” Gant said, adding that applications are available in the offices of County Auditors as well as online at sdsos.gov. “The auditor will then mail a paper ballot to the voter to complete and return.”
Residents may also vote absentee in person by visiting the office of their County Auditor, where they will confirm voter registration, complete an application for an absentee ballot, vote and return the ballot to the auditor.
In the case of military and overseas voters, applications can be transmitted via fax or email as well as by postal mail. If the application is for a Primary, General or other statewide election, uniformed and overseas voters may request to have their ballots sent to them electronically.
“Our website provides general absentee voting guidelines as well as a military and overseas citizens section, which offers specific step-by-step instructions,” Gant said. “Voters can also check their registration status online at sdsos.gov through the Voter Information Portal, which is a tool allowing voters to view a sample of their ballots and check on polling locations.”
Applications can be returned at any time, but absentee voting begins 46 days prior to an election. In South Dakota, election officials must receive applications for absentee ballots no later than 3 p.m. on Election Day. Once an absentee ballot is completed, a voter may return it to the County Auditor in person or by mail.
A qualified voter who is confined due to sickness or disability may apply in writing for an absentee ballot via authorized messenger. An authorized messenger delivers the ballot from the election official to the qualified voter and then returns the marked ballot.
Breakdown of absentee voting in South Dakota:
• Verify status as registered voter in South Dakota (register to vote or update registration through county auditor if needed; registration deadline is 15 days prior to an election).
• Obtain absentee ballot application from County Auditor or online.
• Fill out application, sign and have notarized or provide copy of a photo ID card, (ID requirement waived for overseas voters).
• Return application in person, via authorized messenger or by mail (uniformed and overseas voters may also submit applications by fax or e-mail).
• Fill out absentee ballot upon receipt and return to election official in person, via authorized messenger or by mail.
For the complete article see the 09-25-2012 issue.
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