SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – South Dakota will now conduct a post-election audit. 

On Wednesday morning, Gov. Kristi Noem announced she signed 12 election-related bills into law. More than 30 bills were listed under that category of “elections” by the South Dakota Legislative Research Council during this legislative session. 

Among the changes for upcoming elections are a creating post-election audit, a 30-day residency requirement for voter registration, public testing of tabulating equipment within 10 days of an election, allowing school boards to change term lengths to help joint elections as well as bans to absentee ballot drop boxes, ranked-choice voting and a penalty for public funds being used to influence an outcome of an election. Other bills clarify or update current law regarding the Secretary of State’s office requiring maintenance of voter rolls and the list of candidates

“South Dakota’s election laws are built with integrity. We have one of the best election systems in the nation,” Noem said in a news release. “With these laws, we will further strengthen our fantastic system and provide accountability for the future.”

Senate Bill 160, which creates a post-election audit following the state canvassing of a primary or general election, passed the House 68-0 and the Senate 34-1. 

County auditors will be required to conduct a post-election audit in 5% of precincts in the county by manually counting all votes cast in two contests and comparing the results of the manual count to the results for those precincts at the county canvass.

South Dakota joins 41 other states that have some sort of post-election tabulation audit. 

Senate Bill 139 requires a person to have lived in the state for at least 30 days before registering to vote. It passed the Senate 29-4 and the House 68-2 and awaits Noem’s signature or veto. 

To qualify as a resident in South Dakota a person only needs to spend one night. Under this bill, a person must maintain a residence in South Dakota for at least 30 days prior to registering to vote.  

Here’s a list of election-related bills that have passed. 

  • House Bill 1123 (school board changes for joint elections) 
  • House Bill 1124 (test tabulating equipment) 
  • HB 1140 (Requires the secretary of state to determine if a legislatively proposed constitutional amendment complies with the single subject requirement and is not a constitutional revision)
  • HB 1148 (Clarifies registration and residence requirements for voting at a township meeting)
  • House Bill 1165 (absentee voting changes/bans absentee ballot box) 
  • Senate Bill 55 (bans ranked-choice voting) 
  • Senate Bill 113 (Establishes and modifies provisions related to initiated petitions)
  • Senate Bill 139 (30-day residency requirement for voting) 
  • Senate Bill 140 (maintain accurate voter rolls)
  • Senate Bill 160 (creates a post-election audit) 
  • Senate Bill 161 ($3 million for election funding)
  • Senate Bill 207 (penalty for public funds being used to influence outcome of an election)