Cassidy Schwagel celebrated her 18th birthday on November 2.  The freshly- minted adult and American voter exercised her 26th Amendment right to vote immediately. Schwagel... Grant County Auditor Karen Layher Processes Ballot for Granddaughter’s First-Time Voting

Cassidy Schwagel celebrated her 18th birthday on November 2.  The freshly- minted adult and American voter exercised her 26th Amendment right to vote immediately. Schwagel headed to the Grant County Courthouse to cast her ballot in the 2022 midterm election. 

The assistance of her grandmother Karen Layher, who has served as Grant County Auditor for 30 years, added to the memorable day.  Layher, whose duties include supervising elections, processed Cassidy for voting. 

Layher said she wasn’t surprised that Cassidy was so eager to vote. “She’s our red, white, and blue girl. She was born on Election Day in 2004, and I thought her parents might even name her Liberty.” Layher said she presented Cassidy with a patriotic birthday gift.

“I was really excited to get to vote this year. I believe it is an amazing duty we have as citizens,” Cassidy said as she described her experience. “As this is my grandma’s last year as the county auditor, it made it even more special for both of us.” 

Cassidy continued, “She has always called me her election grandbaby, due to the fact I was born on Election Day. My grandma is a very special and irreplaceable woman. She has been a rock for our entire family. She has pushed me to do many great things in my life and for that I am grateful. She means the absolute world to me, and it meant so much to be able to have her help me vote for the first time.”

If you voted on the day Cassidy was born, November 2,  2004, you might recall President George W. Bush was re-elected. He defeated Senator John Kerry from Massachusetts. In the U.S. senate race in South Dakota,  Republican John Thune narrowly defeated Tom Daschle. Daschle had served three terms and risen to minority leader. Daschle was the only incumbent U.S. Senator to lose re-election in 2004, and his defeat also marked the first time a Senate party leader had lost a bid for re-election since Barry Goldwater had unseated his opponent in Arizona in 1952. There was no gubernatorial race in South Dakota in 2004. Stay connected with The Valley Express to see the outcome of South Dakota’s 2022 races.

18 Questions About Voting in the 2022 Midterm Elections

Karen Layher, Grant County Auditor (605.432.6711), answered 18 important questions about the upcoming election. Layher serves as the elections supervisor in Grant County and she has been busy with the thousands of details that must be completed before an election. Layher said she will be spending the day on Monday, November 7, traveling to all the polling places in Grant County  – a radius of about 100 miles – to confirm each location is properly prepared.

Do I have to be registered to vote? Yes.

What was the deadline for new voters to register to vote? Voter registration ends 15 days prior to any election. The deadline for this election was October 24 at 5 p.m.

How do I check to see if I am a registered voter? Call the Grant County Auditor’s office at 605.432.6711 or go to: and click on the Voter Information Portal (VIP). 

If I moved or changed my name since the last election, can I still vote? Yes. You vote at the precinct where you are registered. Please update your voter registration by asking the poll worker for a form, stop up to the auditor’s office, or download the form on the site.

When does absentee voting end? Voting in person at the Grant County Auditor’s office closes at 5 p.m. on Monday, November 7.

Do I need to bring identification to vote? A photo ID is needed, but if the voter forgets to bring a photo ID, they will be offered a personal identification form.

What forms of ID are valid? A driver’s license,  non-DL, passport, tribal ID., a South Dakota school ID, a military ID, or a photo ID issued by a government agency.

Where is my polling place?  Check the VIP portal or call the Grant County Auditor’s office at 605.432.6711. (List at the bottom of the story)

What are the voting hours in Grant County on Election Day? 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Where can I look at a sample ballot? Access the VIP portal (listed above) or call the Grant County Auditor’s office at 605.432.6711

What if I make a mistake on my ballot? A voter should request a new ballot from the precinct official. Please do not cross out a mark and mark another choice. Request a new ballot.

Are write-ins allowed?  No. What happens to a ballot that includes a write-in? That race would not be counted, but the remaining choices the voter correctly marked would be counted. 

Do you perform tests on the vote-counting machine? We perform multiple tests to ensure the 450 counter is counting accurately. When we receive the test deck, we run the test deck to verify the vote count against the tabulated spreadsheet. We add additional ballots to the test deck and add the ballot count to the test deck spreadsheet. Then, we rerun the test desk again to verify the additional votes were included in the new total. 

One week prior to the election, we perform another test of the 450-counter that is open for any member of the public to watch. We are also required to run the test deck on election night before the official count begins. The resolution board is present for this test and verifies the 450-counter has zero votes before the test deck is run. The resolution board verifies the vote totals against the test deck spreadsheet.  Before the official ballot count begins, the 450 is cleared to a zero count, which the resolution board verifies. The resolution board consists of one Republican and one Democrat. 

Can you check the status of your ballot online? For voters who have requested or voted absentee, their status can be checked by logging into the Voter Information Portal (listed above). 

How many voters are registered in Grant County? There are 4777 active voters. The total active and inactive voters is 5122. 

How many voters have voted early? As of Friday, November 4, Grant County had 749 absentee voters. That is a 15.7 percent turnout. 

Are you expecting a big turnout for this election? I am hoping for a 50 to 60 percent turnout. 

Locally, polling locations for each precinct are as follows:
• All Milbank wards, Milbank Visitor Center community room, 1001 E. 4th Ave., Milbank
• 41 Adams Township, Towns of Albee and Revillo, Vernon Township, Revillo Community Center, 310 N 2nd Ave., Revillo
• 42 Alban Township, Whetstone Valley Electric meeting room, 1101 E. 4th Ave., Milbank
• 43 Big Stone City and Township, Big Stone City Office, 400 Washington St., Big Stone City
• 44 Blooming Valley-Farmington-Lura Townships., New Township Hall, 15050 455th Ave., Summit
• 45 Georgia Township, Town of LaBolt and Madison Township,
Emily’s Place, 140 Main St., LaBolt
• 46 Grant Center Township, Whetstone Valley Electric Meeting
Room, 1101 E 4th Ave., Milbank
• 47 Melrose Township, Grant County Library, 207 E Park Ave.,
• 49 Mazeppa-Osceola Township and Town of Marvin, Marvin Hall, 204 S. Church St., Marvin
• 52 Stockholm Town and Township, Community Center, 400 E. Johnson, Stockholm
• 53 Troy Township and Town of Strandburg, Rufer’s General Store,
123 S Main St., Strandburg
• 54 Twin Brooks Town and Township and Kilborn Township,
Twin Brooks Community Center, 502 Lasell St., Twin Brooks Keep up with The Valley Express for your Election-Day results.


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