SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Secretary of State Steve Barnett said he wouldn’t have been surprised to see voter turnout around 25-29% for the primary election. 

With 186,894 votes cast for the June 7, 2022 primary election, Barnett was happy to see roughly 32,000 more ballots cast than the 154,328 ballots cast in the 2020 primary.  

“I thought we had a good turnout, right around 32 percent,” Barnett said. “Turnout was really good for a primary. People were engaged and it was good to see them get out and exercise their right to vote.” 

Barnett, who was working his third statewide election since being first elected secretary of state in 2018, said a few campaigns really pushed people to get out and vote. 

“It should be safe to check your mailbox,” Barnett joked about the amount of political mail ads. “For a while there, the market was pretty saturated.” 

As far as results went, Barnett noted his office worked past midnight waiting for the rest of the results to come in. He thanked a new election vendor — BPro KNOWiNk, based out of St. Louis, — for the election results software and website results display. 

“They’re up to speed on the technology and the live feed automatically refreshes every five minutes,” Barnett said. “It’s pretty slick. You can break that out a number of different ways. Click on the map and look at all the differences. From a precinct race to a legislative race to a statewide race, you can take a look at the individual counties and precincts.” 

He said his office had questions from people who thought they were registered Republican voters but they were registered independents. 

“They probably have been able to vote in the general election on similar elections,” Barnett said. “Maybe they haven’t tried to vote in the primary in a while. It’s always good to check your party affiliation and what county you are registered in.” 

Barnett said his office put out news releases to the South Dakota Newspaper Association and other reminders for people to check polling locations but admitted people might not notice changes in polling locations or districts until Election Day. 

He specifically pointed out many precincts in southeastern South Dakota had people from multiple districts voting at a certain location. 

“I encourage voters going forward to obviously always double check your polling location, take a look at your sample ballot on our website or go to the county auditor’s office,” Barnett said. “The cutoff to change your registration is 15 days prior, but people can always look to see where their polling location is.” 

The official results of Tuesday’s election won’t be certified until the 66 county canvass boards and State Canvas Board canvass and certify the election results. That is set for 9 a.m. Tuesday, Barnett said.  

He said his office will also update the candidate list for the November ballot and he encouraged people to register to vote or update voter registration before the Nov. 8 election.

Absentee voting will start Friday, Sept. 23 (46 days ahead of Election Day) and voter registration deadline is Monday, Oct. 24 (15 days ahead of Election Day).

The position of secretary of state will be on the November ballot. Candidates from the Republican Party and Democratic Party will be nominated at state conventions held this summer. The Libertarian Party has nominated Kurt Evans for the position.