What you need to know about the South Dakota primary

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — As the race tightens between former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, every delegate will likely matter.

Why? It’s not necessarily the candidate with the most delegates who will clinch the nomination. According to party rules, 1,991 delegates are needed to clinch the spot.

South Dakota votes in June and historically the party’s candidate has a clear path to nomination by that point, but 2020 may be a different story if Biden and Sanders continue this neck-and-neck delegate race.

5 things to know about South Dakota’s primary

  1. The election is on June 2. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time.
  2. Absentee voting begins on April 17.
  3. The voter registration deadline is May 18.
  4. The Democratic primary is open to voters registered as Democrat, Independent or No Party affiliation.
  5. The Republican primaries are closed to only voters registered as Republican.

5 questions answered about South Dakota’s primary

What do I need to register to vote?

You can go to a county auditor’s office, city finance office, driver’s license station, public assistance agencies providing SNAP, TANF or WIC, Department of Human Services offices which provide assistance to the disabled, military recruitment offices or the Secretary of State’s office.

You will fill out a voter registration form.

To register to vote you need to be: A citizen of the United States, reside in South Dakota, age 18 or older on or before the next election day, not currently serving a sentence for a felony conviction which included imprisonment, served or suspended, in an adult penitentiary system or not judged mentally incompetent by a court of law.

Can I register to vote online?

No. At least not this cycle. The Secretary of State’s office tried to put in place a system to register online, like 38 other states and Washington D.C. Lawmakers in Pierre killed the bill on Monday.

Am I registered to vote?

You can find out from the South Dakota Secretary of State’s website. It also shows where you will vote, a sample ballot (after 4/17/20) and the status of your absentee ballot.

What do I need to vote?

South Dakota requires an ID to vote, in most situations.

  • South Dakota driver’s license
  • South Dakota nondriver identification card
  • Passport or other U.S. government photo ID
  • Armed Forces identification
  • Tribal photo ID
  • Current photo ID from SD high school or college

If you don’t have any of those IDs, you can complete the personal ID affidavit and vote a regular ballot.

Who will be on the ballot?

Right now, there are no Democrats filed with the state, according to the Secretary of State’s website. As of Wednesday, Biden, Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard remain in the race. Candidates have until the end of March to file petitions.

President Donald Trump’s campaign has filed petitions for the Republican primary and is the only Republican to do so, as of Wednesday.

There will also be candidates for U.S. Senate and House races on the ballot, and other state and local races.

We’re looking at the history of the South Dakota Primary, which candidates are spending the most on digital ads and the health of the state’s party later on KELOLAND.com.