South Dakota Sees Dramatic Increase In Absentee Voters

PIERRE, S.D. – People came out the polls in big numbers yesterday. There was a 63 percent voter turnout yesterday in South Dakota, compared to the 54 percent turnout in the last midterm election.

Presidential elections usually sport bigger turnouts. While this is true, it’s clear that more South Dakotans are voting in midterm elections.

According to South Dakota Secretary of State Shantel Krebs, her office saw a record number of absentee ballots this year. Back in 2014, they received 55,000 absentees ballots. They received a whopping 90,000 absentee ballots this year, a gigantic increase from the last governor’s race.

Krebs only expects this trend of absentee voting to continue in future elections.

“I think it is the convenience and so they don’t forget to do it on election day because you just never know what could happen, could get tied up, and you know, maybe avoid the lines,” said Krebs.

While statewide voter turnout averaged just under 63 percent, some counties also had particularly high voter turnouts yesterday.

“Almost 80 percent turnout in Jones County [and] gregory county – almost 77 percent turnout,” said Krebs.

Oglala Lakota County had the lowest voter turnout this year, with only 39 percent casting ballots.

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