South Dakota

The Mount Rushmore State

Under God the People Rule


211,518 absentee ballots were cast in South Dakota’s 2020 election cycle. Overall 427,529 ballots were cast in the 2020 election, putting overall state turnout at about 73.88%. The state swung heavily for incumbent Donald Trump, who won its 3 electoral votes with 61.8% of the popular vote. South Dakota has consistently voted for Republican presidential candidates since 1968.

South Dakota has a bicameral legislature with 35 senators and 70 representatives. The legislature is in session annually starting the second Tuesday of January – lasting 40 days in odd-numbered years, and 35 days in even-numbered years, and Republicans have held the majority in both chambers since 1992. South Dakota’s governor, Kristi Noem (R), is eligible for re-election in 2022.

Election Integrity

In the wake of the 2020 elections and resulting lack of confidence in the outcome, state legislatures across the country reviewed their election laws and proposed and/or enacted certain modifications to existing law. While our country remains bitterly divided, a battle is taking place as to whether these laws suppress the vote or expand access to the ballot box. Many believe claims of voter suppression from the Left are part of a larger effort to federalize our elections. But the U.S. Constitution grants state legislatures authority to establish state election laws.

Learn more about state election law reforms and decide for yourself. Do you want bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. controlling local elections or do you want your state lawmakers to write laws that meet your state’s unique characteristics?

Absentee Ballot Application

 Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
ExcuseNo excuse requiredNo ChangeNo Legislative Activity
AutomaticNoNo ChangeNo Legislative Activity
Deadline5:00 PM on the day before the electionNo ChangeNo Legislative Activity
Valid for X# of CyclesSame cycle onlyNo ChangeNo Legislative Activity

Legislative Ratings

The American Conservative Union Foundation rates all members of the legislature to track how they vote on key legislation. A high rating reflects a more conservative voting record.

South Dakota averages a 62% rating, reflecting its right leaning position. Visit their ratings page to learn more about individual voting and why ACU opposed or supported the legislation.