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40% sat out this election in South Dakota

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Less than 60% of the state’s active voters participated in the mid-term election on Tuesday. Of the state’s 597,073 active voters, 354,256 voted to account for 59.33% of all active voters, according to unofficial results on the South Dakota Secretary of State’s website.

Although the state had more registered and active voters in 2022 than in 2018, there were only about 13,000 more people who voted this year. The turnout was 65% of registered voters in 2018 as 341,048 of 545,308 registered voters participated and 63% of active voters. When results are official, the percentage is listed as a percent of registered voters.

Generally, voter turnout in mid-term elections in the state has trended downward since 1994. Percentages from years prior to 2018 will be based on registered voters as listed on the SOS election history pages.

South Dakota Secretary of State Steve Barnett said 2022 is close to the mid-term average turnout of about 60% since 2010.

While 59% may be less than in 2018, South Dakota out performs the national average of about 40% turnout in mid-term elections.

Large populations and a higher number of active voters didn’t guarantee the highest turnouts around the state.

Minnehaha, Pennington and Lincoln Counties do not usually have the highest voter turnouts in the state, Barnett said.

In the state’s two most populous counties, the voter turnout was lower than the statewide turnout.

It wasn’t lower by much in Minnehaha County where 58% of 130,827 active voters participated. That totals 75,570 ballots cast.

In Pennington County, 53% of active voters participated. The county has 86,296 active voters and there were 48,958 ballots cast.

So if all active voters participated in both counties, that would be about 95,500 more votes cast in those two counties.

But the third most populous county in the state topped the statewide average.

Lincoln County which includes a portion of the Sioux Falls city limits had a 64% voter turnout.

The county has 44,231 active voters and 28,483 ballots were cast. In general the more rural the county, the better the voter participation. But there are exceptions, counties in tribal lands had some of the lowest voter turnout. For example, Oglala Lakota, 32%, Ziebach, 43% and Dewey: 48%.