South Dakota | Voting Guide

Registration Deadlines and Election Dates

Voter Registration Deadline: received  by the County Auditor 15 days before Election Day.


  • Primary Election Registration Deadline: May 18

  • Primary Election: June 2

  • General Election Registration Deadline: October 19

  • General Election: November 3

Official Election Websites
Register at School or Home

Students have a choice about where to register to vote.


Students attending college may register at their campus address or choose to remain registered or register at their permanent or home address.


You may only be registered and vote in one location.

What Type of ID Do I Need to Register?

South Dakota’s voter registration form asks for your South Dakota driver’s license or the last four digits of your Social Security Number. Be sure to provide one of these numbers if you have it.

What Type of ID Do I Need to Vote?

All voters who vote in person must present identification. The acceptable forms of ID are:

  • A South Dakota driver’s license or non-driver identification card

  • U.S. government photo ID, including passport

  • Military photo ID

  • Tribal photo ID

  • A current student photo ID, issued by a high school or an accredited institution of higher education, including a university, college, or technical school, located within South Dakota.


If a voter is not able to present a form of personal identification, the voter may complete an affidavit and vote a regular ballot.

Where Do I Vote?

Make a plan. Check your voter registration and absentee ballot status, look up your voting site and hours at:

How Can I Vote?


By Mail

  • All voters are eligible to vote absentee in South Dakota. There are no special  eligibility requirements for voting absentee.

  • Contact your local election officials for a mail ballot. You can also download an absentee ballot application at Make sure to either notarize your signature or submit a copy of your valid ID (listed above) with your application when you mail it in.

  • In South Dakota, the County Election Official must receive your application for absentee ballot no later than 5 p.m. the day before the election

  • Your ballot must be received by the County Election Official by 7 p.m. on Election Day

Early In-person

You may apply to vote early in person at your County Auditor’s office once absentee voting begins 46 days before an election, until 5 p.m. on the day before Election Day.

Election Day

Voting sites will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day. If you are in line by the closing time then you will be allowed to vote.

Common Questions/Concerns

Registering to Vote Does Not Affect Your:

Federal Financial Aid

Where you register to vote will not affect federal financial aid such as Pell Grants, Perkins or Stafford loans, or your dependency status for FAFSA.

Status as a Dependent on Your Parents’ Taxes

Being registered to vote at a different address from your parents does not prevent them from claiming you as a dependent on their taxes.

Tuition Status

Being deemed out-of-state for tuition purposes does not prevent you from choosing to register to vote in your campus community.


Will registering to vote in South Dakota affect my driver’s license or car registration?

As a full-time student in South Dakota, you may have to make these changes regardless of whether you register to vote in South Dakota. For more information, you may wish to contact the South Dakota Motor Vehicle Division.

Fair Elections Center and Campus Vote Project intend the information contained herein to be used only as a general guide. This document should not be used as a substitute for consultation with a licensed South Dakota legal professional.


Last updated September 2020