In 2021, South Dakota made a few minor pro-voter improvements, which include protecting domestic violence victims’ information from public voting disclosure and pre-processing absentee ballots. However, in 2022, the Legislature passed a bill that prohibits private funding for election administration in the state, leaving local elections offices without sufficient funds to properly run elections. Due to the detrimental impact of the 2022 anti-voter bill for elections workers and eligible voters, and taking into consideration the minor progress made for voters in 2021, South Dakota received a C on this year’s progress report.
Where South Dakota Started in 2020
- Automatic Voter Registration: No
- Online Voter Registration: No
- Same-Day Registration: Yes
- Restoration of Rights: Parole and/or Probation Disenfranchisement
- Vote by Mail: No-Excuse
- Electronic Registration Information Center Member: No
- Early Voting Opportunities: In-Person Absentee
- ID Requirements: ID Requested, but not Required
Relying on the Cost of Voting Index for South Dakota as of 2020, we considered the state a middle tier state for pre-existing voting policy and compared its 2021-22 activity against other middle tier states.
How Our Tier Compares:
2021: Two Years Ago
The South Dakota Legislature made a few small but important pro-voter changes to election laws during the 2021 session.
- S 102 allows victims of domestic violence to protect their voter registration information from public disclosure.
- S 184 allows counties to potentially begin pre-processing absentee ballots on Election Day before the polls close. It gives auditors the discretion to implement pre-processing if the county has an influx of absentee voting for an election.
2022: This Past Year
During the 2022 session, the Legislature passed only one election-related anti-voter bill.
- S 122 prohibits private funding for election administration in the state. It hinders election jurisdictions’ ability to adequately fund elections by barring them from accepting needed funds from outside sources while not providing sufficient state funds to support local election officials.