How To Register To Vote

Written by
Published on
October 20, 2022
Table of Contents

Registering as a Voter

Are you planning to register as a voter? This is an excellent decision because voting is part of active civic engagement in South Dakota and the whole country. When you register to vote, you take part in the development and welfare of your local area. This article explains to you how you can register to vote in South Dakota. Before going about how to register, let's first look at why you should take part in voter registration

Why Should You Register to Vote?

Voting is Your Right 

You need to take part in voter registrations because you have a right to vote. Note that voting does not only entail electing a candidate. It also involves selecting the right policies and the people who make decisions with your interests in mind.

You vote for people who make the right decisions for your local community, state, and the entire nation.  When you vote, you take on an active part in making decisions regarding issues such as immigration, health care jobs, infrastructure, taxes, safety, education, and equal opportunity. 

Voting Helps Allocate Federal Money to Your State

When you vote, you help the state to receive the right amount of money from the federal government. The money is then used in healthcare, youth programs, education, the environment, and job creation.  For your state to develop and get increased federal funding, you must register and vote. 

You Get to Make a Decision on How Your Taxes Get Spent 

Elected officials such as governors, the president, state officials, county or city commissioners, and congress members decide how to pay for public services from taxes. They also decide on how the tax burden is shared. Thus, by voting, you make decisions on how the money collected from your tax is spent. 

Voting Has an Effect on Your Job

When you vote, you choose people who decide on minimum wages, pay equity, health insurance, job security, fairness in hiring, and workplace safety provided by your employers. 

Vote to Enhance Your Kids' Education 

State and local school board members you elect make decisions on budgets and policies that will affect your kids' future. The people you elect also make critical decisions that influence the quality and cost of high learning institutions and public schools. As a result, when you register and vote, you place your kids in good hands. 

Your Vote Affects Healthcare

Your vote gives the people you elect the right to take the right actions or pass or reject legislation that determines your access to high-quality healthcare. You can vote and choose congress, the governor, and legislators with your interests in mind. 

Who Can Register as a Voter?

Like in many other states, there are specific criteria you should meet to register and vote in South Dakota. To register as a voter, you should be a US citizen, live in South Dakota, and be above eighteen years on or before the next election. You should also not be serving a sentence as a result of a felony conviction.

This includes imprisonment or suspension or if you served in an adult penitentiary system. Moreover, you should not have been judged as mentally incompetent by any court. Finally, you should make sure that you register before Election Day.

How to Register to Vote

In order to successfully register as a voter in the state of South Dakota, you have two alternatives. You can opt to make registration applications by mail. This requires you to print a voter registration form, fill it and send it by mail to your local election office. It is also possible for you to register in person if you wish. Note that South Dakota does not provide online voter registration. Also, ensure that you register to vote before the registration deadline. 

By Mail Registration 

To register by mail, you need to use the South Dakota voter registration form. Ensure that you go through all the instructions and fill them out carefully. After completion, you should then send it to your local election officials.

Here are steps to follow when filling the voter registration form.

Step One: Print the voter registration form

Start by printing and filling out the voter registration form. Among the information that you are required to fill, here are the most important boxes and details as are necessary for each:

  • Box 6: Identification number - Here, you need your valid South Dakota driving license or a non-driver identification number. If you do not have these two, you should give the last four digits of your social security number. Note that if you do not have all these documents, you need to register in your auditor's office in your county. Here, you will be requested to sign a statement that verifies that you have the necessary documents. 
  • Box 7: Choice of a party - It is a requirement for you to register with a party to take part in partisan primary elections. You need to register with a party that you would like to vote in. However, some parties permit unaffiliated voters to take part in their primary elections.

Step Two: Check who is eligible to vote

Then, review sections to check out who is eligible to vote.

Step Three: Complete the form

Sign the form. 

Step Four: Send the form to your local or county election office

Finally, send the filled form to the local or county election office.

NOTE: If you want to register for the first time in your local area and mail the form, you need to show your proof of identification.

In-Person Voter Registration

You can also opt to register to vote in person. To see this through, you need to get in touch with your local elections office for details on where and when to do the registration.

Election Day Registration

There is no voter registration during Election Day in South Dakota.

Overseas and Military Voters

Overseas citizens, active duty military members, and families can register and request an absentee ballot using (FPCA) Federal Post Card Application. This is a process that is done by mail, but your state may provide other options on how to make a request and return the ballots.

Steps followed by overseas and military voters are listed below.

Step One: Procure a Federal Post Card Application form

Fill the FPCA (Federal Post Card Application) or make a download of the copy. The election official in South Dakota may have questions. Thus, you should give out a phone number or email address that they can use to reach you. 

Step Two: Send the form to the allotted official

Send the form to the election official. You should submit the form as early on as you can.

Step Three: Fill out the form and send it back

You should fill it out and then send your ballot back immediately after you receive it.

NOTE: Most states, including South Dakota, start mailing absentee ballots at least forty-five days before an election. If you fail to receive your ballot by thirty days before Election Day, you must contact the area election office. 

Checking Your Registration Status 

After you have registered, you can check your records and verify that your details are correct using South Dakota's voter registration applications lookup tool.

Want to Register as a Voter in South Dakota? 

The above information can help you understand how to register as a voter in South Dakota, United States. The steps are well explained. However, if you are still unsure if you can register to vote or how to go about the registration process, you can ask for professional help.

The experts can help you do the voter registration and ensure that you vote so that you can help play your part in contributing to the development and welfare of your state and the entire country in general. 

Sign up for Residency in South Dakota