Voter registration deadline is Oct. 19

Voter registration deadline is Oct. 19 In order to vote in the Nov. 3 general election, people who have not registered are urged to do so by 5 p.m. Oct. 19.

According to Clay County Auditor Ruth A. Brunick, failure to register by the deadline will cause forfeiture for voting rights for this election.

Registration may be completed during regular business hours at the county auditor's office, municipal finance office, and locations which provide drivers licenses, food stamps, AFDC, WIC, military recruitment and assistance to the disabled as provided by the Department of Human Services.

Voters with disabilities may contact the county auditor for information and special assistance in voter registration, absentee voting, or polling place accessibility.

For more information, or to find out if you are registered, call the county auditor's office at 677-7120.

As the election draws near, voters may need to take extra time to study the election issues and may want to take a reminder sheet with them into the voting booth this year, according to Secretary of State Joyce Hazeltine.

"We will be voting on eight constitutional amendments and one referred law in addition to many statewide, legislative, judicial and county races," Hazeltine said. "I am encouraging people to study the issues and candidates and take a reminder sheet with them into the polling place."

The Plain Talk began publishing pros and cons on each of the ballot questions last week and will continue to do so until the election. Hazeltine said there are other ways for voters to study the issues as well:


* Her office offers pamphlets with pros and cons on each of the ballot questions. Call 1-888-70ELECT or access the information on the web from the Secretary of State page at http://www.state.sd.is/state/executive/sos/sos.htm.


* Voters may also call Project Vote Smart to obtain issue positions of the candidates for congressional, gubernatorial and legislative offices, 1-888-VOTE-SMART or on the web at http://www.vote-smart.org.

Vote Smart's data includes reports on campaign finances, special interest group ratings, political history and how candidates would deal with specific issues.


* Political party headquarters in each county also have brochures on candidates from their party or voters may call the candidate if they have questions about a person's stand on an issue.


* Voters should watch their local newspapers for notifications about candidate forums in their area.


* The full text of the changes to the constitution or the law and the Attorney General's explanations will be published in official newspapers in mid-October.


* Sample ballots will be published in official newspapers by the end of October.

"I think the sample ballots are the greatest help to voters in deciding if they have all of the information they need," Hazeltine said. "Voters can cut out the ballots, study them and take them into the voting booths with them. If a voter misses publication of a ballot, sample ballots are also available at county auditors' offices across the state."

On Nov. 3, voters will be electing a U.S. senator, U.S. representative, governor and lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, state auditor, state treasurer, commission or school and public lands, a public utilities commissioner, 105 state legislators and several county officials, in addition to voting on circuit court judges and supreme court justice retention.

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