VRM in the States: South Dakota

South Dakota currently has the Electronic Registration at DMVs component of Voter Registration Modernization in place. South Dakota also has electronic pollbooks in at least one county.

February 1, 2017

Advances in Voter Registration Modernization

  • Electronic Voter Registration: South Dakota launched electronic voter registration at the Department of Public Safety (DPS) – which serves as the state’s driver’s licensing agency – in 2006, and fully eliminated the use of paper for processing DPS-based voter registrations in 2012. Individuals submit information on paper and clerks input responses electronically. Registration information, along with an electronic signature on file, is transferred to election officials daily.
  • Electronic Pollbooks: Seven out of 66 South Dakota counties used electronic pollbooks to sign in voters in 2014. 

Gains from Voter Registration Modernization in South Dakota   

The steps South Dakota has taken thus far have yielded increases in voter registration and financial benefits for the state. For example:  

  • During an April 2013 interview with Brennan Center staff, South Dakota election officials reported reduced maintenance costs due to electronic registration. When the state relied on a partially electronic system, each county spent from $500 to $2,000 annually on maintenance of voter databases. The state expects maintenance costs to range between $0 and $300 under the fully electronic system.
  • In the years following the introduction of electronic registration in 2006, registration rates at the DMV increased between three and six times over.