SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The first Election Day of 2022 in Sioux Falls is approaching. 

Absentee voting is already underway and polls across Sioux Falls will be open at 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 12. 

Here’s what you need to know about the 2022 Sioux Falls election which includes mayor, four city council races and two ballot measures. 

Where and how to vote? 

If you plan to vote early in person, you can stop at the second floor of the Minnehaha County Administration building to fill out a ballot. The building is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The building will also be open Saturday, April 9 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. for early voting.

For those planning to vote in-person on Election Day, you can use the Secretary of State’s website to find your polling location. All you need to bring with you to vote is a government-issued ID such as a driver’s license, tribal card, or veterans ID. If you are a college student, you can bring a school identification card. 

If you do not have an approved photo ID while voting in-person absentee or at the polls, you may complete a personal identification affidavit and still vote a regular ballot. 

As of April 4, the Sioux Falls city clerk said more than 1,200 people had voted absentee. You can view a sample ballot below.


Mayoral race

Three candidates are running for mayor of Sioux Falls – Paul TenHaken, Taneeza Islam and David Zokaites. You can watch KELOLAND Media Group’s debate where the candidates discussed affordable housing, the homeless population, panhandling, child care, marijuana and police.

TenHaken is the incumbent and was elected as the 32nd mayor of Sioux Falls in 2018. Prior to his election, TenHaken served as the Founder/CEO of Click Rain, a marketing agency in Sioux Falls

Islam is an immigration lawyer and founder and executive director for South Dakota Voices for Peace and its sister organization, South Dakota Voices for Justice.

Zokaites is a familiar face at the Sioux Falls City Council meetings and ran for mayor in 2018.


Southeast District city council member

David Barranco and Cody Ingle are the two southeast district candidates.

The 30-year-old Ingle works in information technology, while the 49-year-old Barranco is a lawyer.


Central District city council member

Jim Burzynski and Emmett Reistroffer are each challenging incumbent Curt Soehl for the Central District spot on the city council.

The 39-year-old Burzynski is a pharmacist, Reistroffer, 32, is chief operating officer for a medical cannabis company and the 62-year-old Soehl is a manager with Farmers Union Insurance.


At-large city council member A

Former city attorney and current councilor Janet Brekke is running to keep her seat on the city council, while Bobbi Andera and Dr. Sarah Cole are challenging Brekke.

Andera works in business operations and laboratory compliance for Sanford Health. Cole is a pediatrician for Avera Health.


At-large city council member B

The candidates for one at-large spot are nonprofit administrator Rich Merkouris and nonprofit consultant Pam Cole.

Cole has served on the Brookings School Board as well as in the South Dakota state legislature as a senator. Merkouris is a part-time pastor who was previously a volunteer chaplain with the Sioux Falls Police Department and Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office.


Ballot measures

The two charter amendments are called Charter Amendment A and Charter Amendment B. One determines how much the mayor and council members are paid. The other determines who can fire the city attorney.

Charter Amendment A calls for re-setting the base salary for each, said city attorney Stacy Kooistra.

If the amendment is passed, the mayor’s salary would be $165,000 a year. The council would be set at $24,750 a year.

Right now the mayor’s salary is $137,800 and the council salary is $20,670.

For Charter Amendment B, only the mayor can initiate the termination of the city attorney. The mayor can initiate but still needs the majority of the city council to approve.


KELOLAND News will have coverage of the city races leading up to and throughout Election Day. We’ll also be monitoring results as the numbers are reported and talk with the winners.