Absentee voting skyrockets for 2020 Primary Election


Sean Reif stopped in at his polling site in downtown Sioux Falls over the noon hour.

“It’s obviously one way to get a say in what’s going on. And I think local politics are equally as important as presidential and countrywide because what’s happening locally, you can kind of get more of a say that what’s going on with the entire nation,” Voter Sean Reif said.

While it’s too soon to know just how many people will head to their polling sites in South Dakota on Tuesday, absentee ballot numbers have skyrocketed.

According to the Secretary of State’s office, county auditors have received more than 88,000 absentee ballots so far.

The Secretary of State’s Office looked as primary elections as far back as far as 2010, and found the 2018 primary is in second place for absentee ballots with just over 22,000.

In response to COVID-19, an absentee ballot application was sent to active and inactive voters across South Dakota, but that’s not the preferred choice for all.

“We’ve received some comments, like I’ve said, some people they want to go out and vote today. They had no desire to vote absentee. People died for the right to vote and they want to make sure they exercise that right in person,” South Dakota Secretary of State Steve Barnett said.

No matter which way you choose, Reif just wants you to get involved.

“It’s going to be what makes the change,” Reif said.

While this is the first time the the state has done a mass mailing of absentee applications, the service has been available for decades in South Dakota.

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