How to Vote in South Dakota’s 2022 Elections

Posted on 09/23/22 by Emily Paulin, Elissa Chudwin

En español | South Dakota's Nov. 8 general election will decide races for the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, state legislature, governor and others. The state’s primary was June 7. 

  • Absentee voting: All registered voters can request an absentee ballot for the general election.
  • Early in-person voting: South Dakota doesn’t offer early in-person voting, but you can cast an absentee ballot at your county auditor's office.
  • In-person voting on Election Day: The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
voting booth

Redistricting in South Dakota last year has redrawn certain boundaries of state House and Senate districts. These changes may affect which candidates appear on your ballot.

  • Governor: incumbent Gov. Kristi Noem (R), Jamie Smith (D)
  • U.S. Senate: Brian Bengs (D), incumbent Sen. John Thune (R)
  • U.S. House: Collin Duprel (L), incumbent Rep. Dusty Johnson (R)
  • State Senate: all 35 seats 
  • State House: all 70 seats 
  • Lieutenant Governor and other state offices
  • Constitutional Amendment D
  • Measure 27

More information about the questions and candidates on the 2022 general election ballot is available at the state’s Voter Information Portal.

  • By mail: Print and fill out a voter registration form from the state’s voter portal. Mail the completed form to your county auditor. Include your current South Dakota driver’s license number or the last four digits of your Social Security number. Or call your county auditor’s office or the secretary of state’s office at 605-773-3537 and request that a registration form be mailed to you.

The deadline to register or update your voter information is Oct. 24. Contact your county election official if you do not receive an acknowledgment notice within 15 days of the date you submitted your registration application.

Use the state’s voter portal to check your voter registration status.    


Any registered voter can request an absentee ballot for November’s general election. Absentee ballot application forms are valid for one calendar year, so you’ll need to reapply for any elections beyond 2022. 

Apply for absentee ballots by mail and in person:

  • By mail: Download and complete an absentee ballot application form. Mail your original, signed application to your county auditor's office. Attach a copy of an acceptable form of ID — such as a South Dakota driver's license, a South Dakota nondriver ID card, passport or tribal photo ID — to your application. Or complete a notarized oath on the form (Section 7) swearing the information is true and correct.
  • In person: Fill out an absentee ballot application form at your county auditor's office by 5 p.m. on Nov. 7. Bring an acceptable form of ID. You can complete your absentee ballot application and mark your ballot at the same time.
  • Through an authorized messenger: If sickness or disability keeps you from the polls, you can apply for an absentee ballot via an authorized messenger. Download, print and complete the absentee ballot application form, including the authorized messenger request section. The authorized messenger may pick up and return your ballot to the county auditor for you. Your county auditor must receive applications for a ballot by authorized messenger by 3 p.m. on Election Day.

Election officials encourage those who wish to vote absentee by mail to submit their applications as soon as possible. Ballots are mailed within 48 hours of an application’s receipt.
Only voters covered under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act can submit their application for an absentee ballot via fax or email.

Return your completed absentee ballot:

  • By mail: Follow the instructions that accompany your absentee ballot, then mail your ballot with proper postage to your county auditor’s office.
  • In person: Drop off your completed ballot at your county auditor’s office or at a secure drop box, if your county uses them. Absentee ballots cannot be returned to your polling place on Election Day. Contact your county auditor’s office for drop box locations. 
  • Through an authorized messenger: All voters can have someone deliver their ballot to the correct county auditor’s office or a secure drop box, if your county offers them. 

Completed absentee ballots must be received on Election Day with sufficient time for election officials to deliver them to the corresponding polling locations prior to the polls closing. Contact your county auditor to determine the local deadline. Ballots that are not received by the deadline will not be counted.

Track your ballot using the state’s voter portal.

South Dakota doesn’t offer early in-person voting, but you can go to your county auditor's office to complete and submit an absentee ballot in person. In-person absentee voting runs from Sept. 23 through Nov. 7 at 5 p.m.

Yes. All voters applying for an absentee ballot or voting at a polling place on Election Day need to show an approved photo ID, including a state-issued driver’s license, state-issued student ID, U.S. passport or tribal ID.  

If you do not have an approved photo ID while voting in-person absentee or at the polls, you may complete a personal identification affidavit and still vote a regular ballot. This affidavit may not be used as a substitute for the ID requirements for the absentee ballot application.

The general election is on Tuesday, Nov. 8.  Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Use the state's voter portal to find a polling place near you. 

Editor’s note: This guide was updated on Sept. 23 with information about how to vote in the general election. The guide was first published on Aug. 6, 2020. 

This story is provided by AARP South Dakota. Visit the AARP South Dakota page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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