Each year, South Dakota Advocacy Services and the Protection and Advocacy Developmental Disabilities Program�s (PADD) Advisory Council presents a Legislative Advocacy Award. This award is in recognition of the importance of the legislative processes and an individual support for and participation in legislative activity that benefits the disability community within the larger community in South Dakota. The recipient for 2011 is former South Dakota Secretary of State Chris Nelson of Pierre.
In 2009 this individual was awarded the Election Center�s Professional Practices Award in recognition for the most outstanding election administration professional practice in the nation. In 2010 the recipient received the Excellent Service to South Dakota County Officials award from the South Dakota County Officials Association.