S.D. election officials say vote-by-mail and voting at polls will be safe and fair

The people who will operate and oversee the 2020 general election in South Dakota are highly confident that the vote for president, Congress, legislative seats and statewide ballot measures will be done fairly, accurately and in a timely manner without a risk of fraud.

Despite concerns raised by President Donald Trump and others who have questioned the legitimacy of widespread absentee voting by mail, all South Dakota county auditors who responded to a South Dakota News Watch poll say they believe the 2020 election in South Dakota will be fair and accurate.

South Dakota Secretary of State Steve Barnett, show in his office in Pierre, is confident that the 2020 general election can produce fair, accurate and timely results. Photo: Courtesy S.D. Secretary of State’s office

Record numbers of voters in South Dakota and across the country are expected to cast ballots by mail this year, mostly over concerns about exposure to the potentially deadly coronavirus while voting in person in November but also for the convenience of voting early from home.

South Dakota Secretary of State Steve Barnett said that as of Sept. 9, the state had received 108,580 applications for absentee ballots, representing about 20% of the state’s roughly 558,000 registered voters. Ballots will be sent to voters starting on Friday, Sept. 18.

For more on this story, visit sdnewswatch.org

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