Mover's Guide: South Dakota

August 10, 2010

Secretary of State, Election Information: 605-773-3537

I moved from the address at which I am registered.  What should I do?

I moved from another state.

If you moved to South Dakota from another state, you must register to vote in South Dakota to be able to vote.[1]  The last day to register in time to vote in the next election is by 5 p.m. fifteen days before the election.[2]

If you moved from out of state, you may register to vote the same day you become a resident of the State of South Dakota.  And, under federal law, if you move within thirty days of a presidential election, you are allowed to vote for President and Vice President in your former state of residence, either in person or by absentee ballot.[3]

I moved within South Dakota.

If you moved to a new address within the state, you should complete a new registration form to update your registration records.  That form is available here: http://sos.sd.gov/content/html/elections/electvoterpdfs/votregformlongbweffective20080908.pdf.

The election is right around the corner and I never updated my registration from my previous address.  What should I do?

Many registered South Dakota voters who move are still entitled to cast a ballot that will be counted — even if they did not notify the appropriate election official about the move before Election Day.

Scenario One: New Address, but Same Polling Place

If you moved to a new address that is covered by the same polling place as your old address, you are allowed to vote at that polling place.[4]  This is true regardless of how close to the election you moved.

Scenario Two: New Address in Same County but New Polling Place

If you moved to a new address within the same county but with a different polling place, you can vote a regular ballot at the polling place associated with your old address.[5]

Scenario Three: New Address in New County or New Congressional District

If you moved to a new address in a different county, you can vote a regular ballot at the polling place associated with your old address.[6]


[1] S.D. Codified Laws § 12-3-1 (2010).

[2] S.D. Codified Laws § 12-4-5.

[3] 42 U.S.C. § 1973aa-1(e) (2010).

[4] See 42 U.S.C. § 1973gg-6(e)(1) (2010).

[5] Telephone Interview with South Dakota Secretary of State Staff Member (Sept. 29, 2008); Telephone Interview with Kea Warne, Election Supervisor, South Dakota Board of Elections (Feb. 13, 2009).

[6] Telephone Interview with South Dakota Secretary of State Staff Member (Sept. 29, 2008); Telephone Interview with Kea Warne, Election Supervisor, South Dakota Board of Elections (Feb. 13, 2009).