Voters Go To Polls Tuesday
Voters from Marshall County, South Dakota, and the nation will go to the polls next Tuesday for the general election.
There will be just one contested race in the county. Democratic incumbent sheriff Dale Elsen is facing Republican challenger Cody Sunderland.
County voters will also choose two of three candidates vying for the District 1 House seat in the state legislature. Incumbent Democrat Steven McCleerey of Sisseton, former Democratic legislator H. Paul Dennert of Columbia, and Republican Tamara St. John of Sisseton are running for the spot.
Democratic House incumbent Susan Wismer of Britton opted to run for the open District 1 Senate seat and has no opposition. Incumbent Democratic Senator Jason Frerichs of Wilmot was term-limited and could not run again.
Voters will decide on seven state races, topped by the governor’s race. Two-term Governor Dennis Daugaard could not run again, and Republican Kristi Noem, Democrat Billie Sutton, and Independent Kurt Evans are vying for that position.
Republican incumbent Steve Barnett and Democrat Alexandra Frederick are running for Secretary of State; Republican Jason Ravnsborg and Democrat Randy Seiler for Attorney General; Republican incumbent Rich Sattgast and Democrat Tom Cool for State Auditor; Republican incumbent Josh Haeder and Democrat Aaron Matson for State Treasurer; Republican incumbent Ryan Brunner and Democrat Woody Houser for Commission of School and Public Lands; and Republican incumbent Kristie Fiegen and Democrat Wayne Frederick for Public Utilities Commissioner.
There is a four-way race for the state’s one U.S. House of Representatives seat given up by incumbent Kristi Noem when she decided to run for governor. Candidates are Democrat Tim Bjorkman, Republican Dusty Johnson, Libertarian George Hendrickson, and Independent Ron Wieczorek.
Voters will also be asked to vote to retain or to not retain Supreme Court Justice Janine Kern.
This year voters are facing decisions on five ballot issues – three constitutional amendments submitted by voters via petition and two initiated measures submitted to voters by the state legislature.
Amendment W would amend the state constitution to revise state campaign finance and lobbying laws, create a new State Government Accountability Board, and establish new laws governing the initiative and referendum process in South Dakota. Attorney General Marty Jackley noted on the ballot that, if passed, Amendment W will likely be challenged on constitutional grounds.
Amendment X would increase the threshold of voter approval required to enact a constitutional amendment to 55 percent of those voting on the amendment. Currently a simple majority vote is required to ratify proposed constitutional amendments.
Amendment Z states that a proposed constitutional amendment may embrace only one subject.
Initiated Measure 24 would prohibit contributions to ballot question committees by non-residents, out-of-state political committees, and entities that are not filed with the Secretary of State. Attorney General Marty Jackley noted on the ballot that this measure, if passed, would likely be challenged on constitutional grounds.
Initiated Measure 25 would increase the tax on cigarettes from about $1.53 per pack of 20 cigarettes to $2.53 per pack of 20 cigarettes and increase the tax on wholesale tobacco products from 35 to 55 percent. A portion of the tobacco tax revenue would be dedicated to technical institutes for the purpose of lowering tuition and providing financial support to the institutes.
Polls will open at nine locations in Marshall County from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on Tuesday. All voters will be required to present a photo ID to election officials or sign a personal affidavit when going to the polls. Absentee voting is allowed until 3 p.m. on election day.