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Officials confident of voting accuracy in South Dakota

South Dakota News Watch - September 11, 2020

PIERRE, SD - The people who will operate and oversee the 2020 general election in South Dakota are highly confident that the vote for president, Congress, legislative seats and statewide ballot measures will be done fairly, accurately and in a timely manner without a risk of fraud.

Despite concerns raised by President Donald Trump and others who have questioned the legitimacy of widespread absentee voting by mail, all South Dakota county auditors who responded to a South Dakota News Watch poll say they believe the 2020 election in South Dakota will be fair and accurate.

Record numbers of voters in South Dakota and across the country are expected to cast ballots by mail this year, mostly over concerns about exposure to the potentially deadly coronavirus while voting in person in November but also for the convenience of voting early from home.

South Dakota Secretary of State Steve Barnett said that as of Sept. 9, the state had received 108,580 applications for absentee ballots, representing about 20% of the state’s roughly 558,000 registered voters. Ballots will be sent to voters starting on Friday, Sept. 18.

For more on this story, visit sdnewswatch.org  


Here are some links to websites with information to help voters prepare for and participate in the 2020 general election.

Click here for the South Dakota Secretary of State election-information page, with details on candidates, election dates, ballot information and more.

Click here for the South Dakota Secretary of State online portal to check eligibility, see a sample ballot, find in-person polling sites or track an absentee ballot.

Click here for county auditor contact information.

Click here for the League of Women Voters candidate information site.


Here is a look at the five South Dakota election fraud cases included in the national Heritage Foundation database of incidents from 2000 onward.

2015 — Janice Howe, of Harrold, received probation in 2015 on a perjury charge after falsely vouching for signatures made on a petition for a statewide constitutional amendment in 1999.

2015 — Clayton G. Walker, of Black Hawk,. was sentenced to probation on charges of perjury and offering a false or forged instrument on an electoral nominating petition in a U.S. Senate race.

2015 — Annette Bosworth, of Sioux Falls, was sentenced to probation on charges of perjury and filing false documents due to misrepresentations on a candidate petition in a U.S. Senate race.

2013 — Craig Guymon, of Mitchell, voted twice in a school board election, once in person and once by absentee ballot. He was convicted and sentenced to a month in jail.

2005 — Rudolph Vargas, also known as Rudolph Running Shield, of Pine Ridge, was convicted of submitting two absentee ballots in the 2004 general election and served some time in jail.
Sources: Heritage Foundation, South Dakota News Archive

Phone number: 605-347-4455
E-mail: [email protected]
Address: 1612 Junction Avenue, Suite #1
Sturgis, SD 57785