Social distancing, record absentee voting for Sioux Falls city council-school board election

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — Voter interest is strong in the upcoming city council-school board elections in Sioux Falls, based upon the early voting so far.

Because of COVID-19, those elections were moved from April to June 2, the day of the South Dakota primary.

We could see a record for early voting in Sioux Falls, with all three elections taking place on the same day.

Abbie Swier of Sioux Falls is voting absentee to avoid standing in line at her precinct and risk exposing herself to COVID-19.

“And I think it’s important, otherwise if you don’t vote, you don’t have a chance to complain if you don’t like what’s going on,” Swier said.

People who vote in-person will cast their ballots at booths spread six feet apart. Election officials are working to make the voting process as safe as possible.

“We also have a precinct sanitation kit that has wipes and other things that are peculiar to precincts, so we can sanitize precincts so we’ve got some protection for the public and our workers,” Minnehaha County Auditor Bob Litz said.

The city clerk’s office is on pace to see a record number of absentee ballots cast in the upcoming election.

“So I think that’s great news, I think a lot of it is attributed, in large part, to the secretary of state sending out applications to all our registered voters and people are taking advantage of it,” Sioux Falls City Clerk Tom Grego said.

Plus, people have been able to vote early since March 30. That longer time frame, plus three elections: the city council, school board and the state primary, bunched together, will mean many more ballots to count on election night.

Workers will count the ballots from the Old Courthouse Museum, which provides more space than the election center located next door, where the votes had been tallied during previous elections.

You can vote absentee in-person at the election center. You’ll need to bring a valid photo ID.

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