Voters may cast absentee ballots

Voters may cast absentee ballots Absentee ballots for the Nov. 3 election became available Sept. 22 in county auditors' offices, according to Secretary of State Joyce Hazeltine.

"South Dakota law is specific about voting absentee," Hazeltine said.

Registered voters who will be absent from the county on election day or are ill, disabled, prohibited by their religion or the nature and hours of their employment can vote absentee. Also, Hazeltine said, registered voters who are away from their polling place, at college, persons in the armed forces living out of state, can vote by absentee ballot.

Anyone who wants to receive a ballot by mail to vote absentee must make a request in writing to the county auditor where they are registered to vote, Hazeltine said. The request may be made on an application supplied by the county auditor or in a letter containing the voter's registration address or voting precinct, the reason for the request and the election for which the ballot is requested. The voter must personally sign the application or letter, Hazeltine said. The application is also available on the Secretary of State Internet page at http://www.state.sd.us/state/executive/sos/absentee.htm.

Voters can also go the auditor's office, complete an application and vote in the office, Hazeltine said. If a voter is sick or confined, they may also request in writing an absentee ballot, an authorized messenger to deliver the ballot to the voter and return it to the auditor's office.

No applications for an absentee ballot will be accepted after 3 p.m. on election day, and ballots must be returned to the auditors in time to deliver them to the appropriate polling places prior to the close of the polls on Nov. 3.

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