SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — For the first time, Lincoln County voters dropped-off their absentee ballots in Sioux Falls, saving themselves a trip all the way to Canton. The drop-box is located in the parking lot at Faith Baptist Fellowship at 57th and Minnesota. A Lincoln County sheriff’s deputy is overseeing the drop-offs to ensure all ballots are secure.
Jean Ptak of Sioux Falls is the first Lincoln County voter to drop off her absentee ballot in the backseat of a Lincoln County sheriff’s patrol car.
“I brought in several ballots from people in our building. You know, we’re 80+ and so it means a lot for us,” Ptak said.
Voters were surprised by the strong early turnout in the parking lot of Faith Baptist Fellowship.
“I thought I’d be the first one here! I’m obviously not,” Dave Nordlund of Sioux Falls said.
The drop box will be located at the church every Wednesday from 3-7 p.m. through October 28th. The auditor’s office expects a strong turnout since about a third of all Lincoln County voters live in Sioux Falls.
“I know that people driving down to Canton, or doing it through the mail, they’re concerned with both those aspects, so this is, I think, a good option for them,” Lincoln County Auditor Sheri Lund said.
A part-time deputy checks to make sure each ballot is from Lincoln County. He’ll deliver the ballots to the auditor at the end of the evening.
“The box is going to be secured, it’s got locks on it, I don’t think you get more security with law enforcement handling it, so that’s why we’ve chosen to go that way with it,” Lund said.
Ballot security and convenience are merging into this church parking lot in Sioux Falls.
“This is a very important election. I feel it’s important to get my vote in, so thank you to the Lincoln County auditor for providing this,” Nordlund said.
There is road construction in front of the church along 57th Street but drivers can still access the driveway leading into the parking lot. You can also enter from the back by driving a block south on Minnesota Avenue and enter through Windrose Place.