South Dakota absentee and mail ballot guide
South Dakota absentee ballot overview
Absentee ballots and mail ballots are the same thing, and the process for getting one is straight forward.
- Request your ballot by the deadline
- Receive your in ballot in the mail
- Return your ballot by the deadline
South Dakota absentee deadlines
- Earliest day to apply: January 1
- Request deadline (online): N/A
- Request deadline (by mail): Received by 1 day before Election Day
- Request deadline (in person): 1 day before Election Day
- Deadline to return your ballot (by mail): Received by Election Day
- Deadline to return your ballot (in person): Received by Election Day
South Dakota absentee ballot rules
Any registered South Dakota voter can request an absentee ballot and vote by mail.
South Dakota online ballot request
South Dakota does not allow you to request your ballot online.
South Dakota by-mail ballot request
- Download the South Dakota absentee ballot application.
- Fill out all of the required fields.
- Print the application.
- Sign and date your application. This is very important.
- Mail or hand-deliver your completed application directly to your local election office as soon as possible, but no later than the deadline.
- If it ’s close to the deadline, call your local election office and see if they will let you submit your application via email or fax.
- Your application must be received by 1 day before Election Day.
South Dakota in-person ballot request
- Visit your local election office.
- Ask the clerk to give you an absentee ballot application.
- Fill out all of the required fields.
- Sign and date your application.
- The deadline to apply in person is 1 day before Election Day.
After you receive your ballot
- Carefully read and follow the instructions, and fill out all required fields.
- Sign and date the outside envelope.
- Mail or hand-deliver your ballot to your local election office.
- If you mail your ballot, it must be received by Election Day.
- If you hand-deliver your ballot, it must be received by Election Day.
- If you miss the deadline – or forget to sign the outside envelope – your vote will not be counted.
South Dakota absentee ballot ID requirements
- ID required when requesting a mail-in ballot:
You either need to have your absentee ballot application notarized, include a photocopy of a government-issued photo ID that shows your name and South Dakota address, or send an email to your county auditor with a picture of a your South Dakota driver's license or state ID card, passport or photo ID issued by the Federal Government, a photo tribal ID, or a photo student ID for a South Dakota school.
- ID required when returning a mail-in ballot:
The signature on the return envelope will be compared to the signature on your voter registration card to ensure they match. If you forget to sign the return envelope, your ballot might be rejected.
South Dakota absentee ballot tracker
Track your ballot here: South Dakota absentee ballot tracker
South Dakota absentee ballot curing
Ballot curing is the process of resolving any problems with your absentee or mail ballot to ensure that your vote is counted. After tracking your ballot, contact your local election office to fix any issues that have been noted.
- Your ballot will be rejected if you forget to sign it or if the signature does not match the one that the state has on file for you.
- You must make corrections by 5:00 pm on Election Day for your vote to count.
South Dakota emergency ballots
Some states have special procedures that allow you to obtain an emergency ballot if a medical or other emergency occurs after the standard absentee ballot application window.
Emergency Ballot Rules
If you are confined due to sickness or disability, you may receive a ballot by messenger. The deadline to submit your request is 3PM Election Day.
Dates & Deadlines
- Emergency ballot request ends 3PM Election Day
- Emergency ballot return deadline is Election Day
Contact your local election office
Local election office
Contact your local election office if you have questions.
Statewide election office
This is the statewide agency that is ultimately responsible for South Dakota elections. You can contact them with questions, but your local election office will probably respond faster.
Secretary of State, Elections Division 500 E. Capitol Pierre, SD 57501‐5070