SOUTH DAKOTA: VOTE BY MAIL FOR SECURE ELECTIONS IN 2020
A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE FOR SOUTH DAKOTA ELECTIONS OFFICIALS
ABOUT THIS RESOURCE
Sightline’s state-by-state guides are designed to give local election officials and legislators the information they need to identify and take the most important steps to get ready for November. Each set of state-specific resources includes best practices and established models from around the country, including practical nuts and bolts advice for clerks, materials from election administrators with experience conducting all mail elections, and information about vendors and costs.
How South Dakota is prepared for Vote By Mail
- Allows any voter to request an absentee ballot.
- Uses voters’ signatures to verify ballots.
- Allows anyone to return sealed ballots in person.
RECOMMENDED STEPS FOR SECURE ELECTIONS
Within each section, recommendations are arranged roughly in order of importance and ease of implementation.
For Local Election Officials
- Coordinate with USPS.
- Design ballots and envelopes that are easy to use.
- Implement robust signature verification.
- Provide secure drop boxes.
- Provide Election Day vote centers for in-person voting.
- Consider using a professional printer and ballot sorter.
- Count ballots at a secure centralized facility.
- Include a postage-prepaid return envelope.
For South Dakota’s Secretary of State
- Use a comprehensive system to track ballots.
- Mail absentee application forms to all registered voters.
- Give voters sufficient opportunity to cure signature problems.
- Join the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC).
- Account for voters with nontraditional addresses.
- Give voters a “single sign-up” option.
- Allow counties to start processing envelopes early.
- Allow counties to accept ballots postmarked on Election Day.
- Allow voters to request an absentee ballot online.
- Allow voters to request replacement ballots online.
- Allow early in-person voting options.
- Automatically register voters and update their address.
Download the full South Dakota action packet, with detailed information for each recommendation.
South Dakota's Grade for Vote By Mail preparedness = D+
Our grading system: We evaluated each state on 16 factors, covering access, administration efficiency, security, and infrastructure.
SEND THIS RESOURCE TO south dakota’s secretary of state:
Steve Barnett, firstname.lastname@example.org
south dakota’s deputy secretary of state, elections division:
Kea Warne, email@example.com
south dakota’s hava coordinator:
Rachel Soulek, Rachel.Soulek@state.sd.us
We welcome your questions and feedback. Email Kristin Eberhard, director of Sightline’s Democracy research program. Press inquiries: Anna Fahey.
Photos: Vote By Mail in South Dakota. Shutterstock.