SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — In the last Sioux Falls school board election in 2021, voter turnout was 5%. 

That election was held Tuesday, May 18, 2021, and Marc Murren and Kate Parker each won seats. This year, the Sioux Falls School District is conducting another school board election for Cynthia Mickelson’s spot on Tuesday, May 16, 2023.  

Because voter turnout has been historically low for May school board elections, the SFSD will be changing the term length for school board members going forward after the state legislature passed House Bill 1123 and Gov. Kristi Noem signed the bill into law. It allows school boards to modify length of terms for school board members to line up with joint elections held every two years. 

Tory Stolen, a spokesman with the SFSD, told KELOLAND News the winner of this school board spot will serve a three-year term that will end in 2026. Stolen said the end of the winner’s three-year term will match up with city of Sioux Falls elections in 2026.

After the 2026 election, future school board elections will coincide with statewide primary and general elections. 

Who are the candidates? 

Dawn Marie Johnson, Brian Mattson and Nicholas Zachariasen will be listed on the ballot, but Zachariasen has stopped his campaign and is supporting Johnson.   

Johnson, who is originally from Waubay, is the director of leadership and culture at the South Dakota After School Network and formerly worked for the Sioux Falls School District as a CTE and community outreach coordinator.

Mattson, who grew up in the Moody and Minnehaha County areas, is an investor and former Marine. 

Where and when can I vote? 

Absentee voting has been taking place at the Instructional Planning Center, 201 E 38th Street from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday May 1-15. 

On Election Day, there will be 13 voting centers across the city at several community centers and churches. You can see the map from the Sioux Falls School District below or check your voter registration information on the Voter Information Portal on the Secretary of state’s website

Not all city of Sioux Falls residents live within the boundaries of the Sioux Falls School District. If you live in another school district, you can’t vote in the Sioux Falls School Board election.