Secretary of State Jason Gant announced today that September is Voter Registration Month in South Dakota.
"Voting is one of the great privileges afforded Americans by way of citizenship. We want to recognize the importance of living in a country where you have a say in who represents you in government and how it operates," Gant said. "In the last presidential election in 2008, 6 million people reported they failed to vote because they didn't know how to register or missed the registration deadline. I want to make sure that doesn't happen in South Dakota."
Voting is the cornerstone of a democracy. In order for eligible citizens to cast a ballot, they must register to vote. Therefore, Gant is working alongside organizations including the National Association of Secretaries of State and Rock the Vote to promote awareness of voter registration, culminating in National Voter Registration Day on Sept. 25. Gant urged those who are thinking about conducting voter registration drives to carefully read instructions and laws.
To be eligible to register to vote in South Dakota, a person must be a United States citizen, a resident of South Dakota and at least 18 years old on or before the next election; a registrant must not be serving a felony sentence or not judged mentally incompetent by a court of law.
Complete instructions about how to register to vote in South Dakota can be found online at sdsos.gov. County Auditors administer voter registrations for residents of their counties, and voter registration forms can be filled out and delivered in person or mailed to these offices. Eligible South Dakotans may also register to vote at city finance offices, driver licensing stations, public assistance agencies including TANF and WIC, Department of Human Services offices providing assistance to the disabled and military recruitment offices.
The deadline for voter registration is 15 days before any election in South Dakota. The deadline is Oct. 22 for the 2012 General Election on Nov. 6.