Tuesday, June 5 is the Republican Primary in South Dakota. Here are 10 important things to know.
WHEN CAN I VOTE? Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you are waiting in line when the polls close, you will still be allowed to vote.
WHERE DO I VOTE? Find your polling place on the South Dakota Secretary of State’s Office website at sos.sd.gov. All Milbank residents will vote at the Milbank City Office community room at 1001 E. 4th Avenue.
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING? Precinct officials will request a form of identification from every voter. Accepted forms of identification include:
A South Dakota driver’s license or I.D. card
A passport or an identification card issued by the United States government
A tribal identification card
A current student I.D. card issued by a high school or an accredited institution of higher education, including a university, college, or technical school, located in the State of South Dakota.
WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE AN I.D.? Registered voters who do not have an I.D. will be able to sign an identification affidavit and vote a regular ballot.
CAN I WEAR A T-SHIRT OR HAT ADVOCATING MY CANDIDATE? No. No advertising of any kind is permitted at the voting polls.
CAN I STILL REGISTER TO VOTE? No. If you’ve not yet registered to vote, you will not be able to vote in the primary. South Dakota law requires voters to register with their local election official 15 days before an election.
CAN I STILL VOTE ABSENTEE? No. Absentee voting is closed.
WHO IS ON THE BALLOT? Republicans will vote for candidates for governor and U.S. House. Marty Jackley and Kristi Noem are running for governor. Shantel Krebs, Dusty Johnson and Neal Tapio are running for the South Dakota U.S. House seat.
On the nonpolitical ballot, Milbank’s Ward 3 candidates for City Council are Lane Lindquist, the incumbent, and Evan Grong. Vincent E. Meyer and Dave Schultz square off for Precinct Committeeman, Precinct 41 Adams and Vernon Township and Town of Revillo and Albee.
WHAT IS MARSY’S LAW? HOW DO I VOTE ON IT IF I’M NOT PARTICIPATING IN THE PARTISAN PRIMARY?
All registered voters in the state are eligible to cast a ballot on Marsy’s Law even if they don’t plan to vote in a partisan primary. These voters will be given a non-political ballot which includes the amendment.
South Dakota voters will weigh in on Marsy’s law or whether or not the state’s crime victims rights laws are working. In 2016, voters agreed to amend the South Dakota Constitution to include a law – called Marsy’s Law – which protects crime victims by withholding public records that could be used to track down a victim or their family. It also requires victims to be kept up to date about court cases and parole hearings involving offenders.
The amendment was modeled on measures in other states, most backed by a California technology entrepreneur, Henry Nicholas. Nicholas, a billionaire, made the law his mission after he and his mother encountered the man accused of killing his sister, Marsy, at a grocery store. Marsy’s family hadn’t been notified the man had been released on bail.
Victims in South Dakota already had legal protection from situations like the one Nicholas faced, but voters decided a constitutional amendment would offer stronger protections.
In most victim’s rights amendments in the U.S., some version of the words “upon request” of the victim appear multiple times, making it clear victims must invoke their rights before officials are required to protect them. In South Dakota, the words appeared only once and produced confusion.
Problems arose after counties experienced hundreds of thousands of dollars in unexpected expenses in implementing the new rights for victims. It also backed up legal procedures and required the increased hiring of staff to deal with the volume of victims. State lawmakers voted to bring the question back to the ballot to offer voters a chance to make corrections.
If approved, the amendment would narrow the definition of victim under the state’s constitution and require those impacted by criminal offenses to opt into special protections. Under the current law, victims are automatically granted the protections and notifications unless they opt out.
The amendment would also shrink the pool of family members that can receive victim protection status under the law and allow law enforcement officers to share more information about unsolved crimes.
The proposal requires a majority vote to be approved. If the voters approve, the measure takes effect July 1.
WHERE CAN I FIND PRIMARY RESULTS? Check The Valley Express for all your Election Day results!
Contact Karen Layher, Grant County auditor, at 432-6711 with any election-related questions.