Pierre, S.D – Secretary of State Shantel Krebs is urging South Dakota university students to vote in this year’s general election in an effort to increase voter participation among 18-30 year-olds.
South Dakota has always had a high voter turnout, consistently ranking in the top 10 across the nation. However, after reviewing the election turnout numbers from the 2014 general election, Krebs realized there was work to be done with younger voters. Out of 104,691 registered voters in the 18-30 age bracket, only 22,515 voted, for a participation rate of one in five.
“With the presidential election upon us, we want to engage our students, educate them and ensure that they utilize absentee voting in South Dakota. The right to vote is the foundation of our citizenship. We are registering our next generation to vote in large numbers. Now it’s time to translate that into participation at the polls -- partnering with universities across the state is extremely beneficial,” Krebs said.
Absentee voting began Sept. 23 and continues to be available to students living away from home – as long as they are registered voters. South Dakota students can vote by mail if they complete an absentee ballot application for the county in which they are registered. The form can be downloaded at sdsos.gov. Along with the signed application you must provide a copy of your photo I.D. such as a driver’s license, passport or school or government ID card.
Any registered South Dakota voter can take advantage of early voting by visiting the county auditor’s office up until 5 p.m. Nov. 7. Details on how students may request an absentee ballot and an FAQ on absentee voting are available on the secretary of state’s website.