UNDATED – Thousands of South Dakotans are heading to the polls Tuesday to choose the state’s next leaders and decide on several major issues.
Turnout has reportedly been good at many polling locations across the Black Hills.
At the top of the ballot is a hotly contested race for Governor.
Republican incumbent Gov. Kristi Noem is challenged by Democrat Jamie Smith and Libertarian Tracey Quint.
Initially elected governor in 2018, Noem previously served as the state’s lone representative to the U.S. House of Representatives, serving four two-year terms from 2011 to 2019. She was a state representative for two terms before that. Noem has increased her national political profile in recent years.
Smith currently serves as the South Dakota House of Representative’s minority leader, a role that he assumed in 2019. He was first elected in 2016, representing a Sioux Falls district.
While Quint has not served as an elected official before, she has been a member of the executive committee of the state’s Libertarian party since 2017.
In the race for Senate, Incumbent Republican Sen. John Thune is challenged by Democrat Brian Bengs and Libertarian Tamara Lesnar.
In the race for House; Incumbent Republican Rep. Dusty Johnson is challenged by Libertarian Collin Duprel.
Dozens of seats in the state legislature are also up for grabs, as are two ballot initiatives.
Initiated Measure 27 would legalize the recreational use of marijuana for those 21 and over. Constitutional Amendment D would expand Medicaid coverage in the state.
Polls are open until 7:00 p.m. tonight.