In an open letter to South Dakotans, South Dakota Secretary of State Jason Gant explains the procedures regarding voting in the state. As cries of voter intimidation and fraud rumble louder in certain parts of the country, Gant looks to enlighten residents on what they can expect when they either go to the polls or vote absentee.

Voter ID laws have been in the news across the country.  This may be creating concerns among South Dakota voters.Let me assure South Dakota voters that our law has not changed and they will be voting the same as in prior elections.

The 2003 South Dakota voter ID law states that a voter shall present one of the following photo ID’s when voting:  South Dakota driver’s license or non-driver ID card, passport or other ID issued by the U.S. government, tribal ID, or student ID from South Dakota high school, college, university, or technical school.  However, if the voter does not have an ID, they may complete an affidavit of personal identification.

The nine year old law which added ID requirements also removed the need to give reason for absentee voting.  This more than doubled the number of absentee ballots cast in statewide elections.  Voters have enjoyed having the chance to vote when it fits into their schedule.

Absentee rules and a voter ID law have provided convenience for voters while guarding against voter fraud.  I encourage all South Dakotans to vote on Tuesday, November 6th.  For further information, visit sdsos.gov or contact your local County Auditor’s office.

Jason Gant

Secretary of State

Understandably, Gant has taken some flak over some of his missteps during his nearly two years in office.  This letter, though is a good way to remind South Dakota voters about what protections are in place when they cast their ballot and that the process is as safe as possible.

DP