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Mail-in voting has nearly doubled in South Dakota for 2020 election so far

More than 35% of the state’s 565,000 registered voters have requested to vote by mail for the...
More than 35% of the state’s 565,000 registered voters have requested to vote by mail for the 2020 presidential election.(WOWT)
Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 4:16 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Mail in-voting has nearly doubled in South Dakota since the 2016 election, and Nov. 3 is under a week away.

The South Dakota Secretary of State’s Office sent out 201,601 absentee ballots as of Wednesday. This means more than 35% of the state’s 565,000 registered voters have requested to vote by mail for the 2020 presidential election.

The state has already received 89%, or 179,926, of those 179,926 ballots sent out. In addition, 67,462 South Dakotans have voted early in-person at an auditor’s office. So in total, nearly 44% of eligible South Dakota voters have already cast their ballot.

The state received requests for 104,715 absentee ballots in the 2016 general election, which was just under 20% of all registered voters. Officials said nearly 98% of those were turned in.

Voting by mail has spiked across the country this year as millions look to avoid going to the polls amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Many analysts predict this year’s presidential election between President Donald Trump and his challenger Joe Biden could have the highest voter turnout in recent memory. A recent survey by the Pew Research Center found multiple indicators that voter turnout could historic levels this year.

Voter turnout in the 2016 election in South Dakota was 69.6%, well above the national average of 55%.

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