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: South Dakota authorizes the use of e-pollbooks at the county level.
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.
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