Gant: Absentee now open for June 5 election

South Dakota Secretary of State Jason Gant is reminds voters that Friday, April 20, marked the start of absentee balloting for the 2012 primary election on June 5.

"South Dakotans have widely embraced absentee voting as a matter of convenience," Gant said. "In the 2010 general election, we had 411 members of the military vote overseas. However, we had an additional 63,339 South Dakota voters cast their ballots through mailed and in-person absentee balloting. This comprised 19.71 percent of all ballots cast in the 2010 general election."

According to primary data from the 2010 primary election, 11,651 or 11.3 percent of voters cast absentee ballots during the last June primary.

"From reports I am receiving from County Auditors across South Dakota, current absentee requests are light, but as we get closer to the election, experience shows us that the pace picks up greatly. Many people decide to cast their vote through absentee balloting as a matter of convenience to avoid lines at the polls," Gant said.

"If a person believes they may not be available to vote on election day, they can vote at their County Auditor's office or visit to complete an application for an absentee ballot," Gant noted.

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