SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The steps for absentee voting ballots can vary by county in South Dakota.
A Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputy and a staff member from the county auditor’s office will be picking up absentee ballots from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the University of Sioux Falls Sports Complex near 69th Street and Cliff Avenue.
In Aurora County, along Interstate 90 near Mitchell, the absentee ballots are received at the county auditor’s office at the courthouse in Plankinton. The ballots are sent with election judges when they have completed election training at the auditor’s office, said county auditor Susan Urban.
McCook County has a similar system, said county auditor Geralyn Sherman.
“Ours go out to the precincts,” Sherman said.
In both McCook and Aurora counties, the election poll workers process the ballots at the precinct sites. The votes are not counted but they are examined.
When the process is completed, the absentee ballots are placed in a box with same-day votes in the precincts and brought to the county auditor’s office.
“They bring them all back here to be counted,” Urban said of absentee ballots.
McCook and Aurora counties may have a few hundred each. As of early Wednesday afternoon, Sherman said McCook County had 331 requests for absentee ballots. The McCook County courthouse is in Salem.
Sherman and Urban said more populous counties likely handle absentee votes differently.
“We don’t send our absentee ballots out to the precinct because of the large numbers we have,” Codington County Auditor Cindy Brugman said. Watertown is the county seat.
Codington County typically has more than 4,000 absentee votes in an election, Brugman said.
Brown County had 3,363 absentee ballots as of end of day Wednesday, said auditor Lynn Heupel. The county seat is Aberdeen. Absentee ballots are kept by the county auditor for processing and counting.
Brown County’s absentee ballot board has 20 volunteers, Heupel said.
Fall River County in southwestern South Dakota has a population of about 7,000. County auditor Sue Ganje said her office keeps absentee ballots at the courthouse in Hot Springs.
An absentee ballot board processes the ballots, Ganje said. As of Thursday morning, the county had 1,005 absentee ballots.
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Codington County election workers begin processing absentee ballots on election day morning, Brugman said.
The ballots will be ready to be counted late in the afternoon, she said. If possible, workers will begin to count those absentee ballots at 5 p.m., Brugman said.
All counties said the vote tally results include absentee and election day votes and there are not two categories. Voting results are all votes.
However, the process includes tallying the number of absentee ballots that are submitted.