With Election Day drawing near, the deadline for registering to vote is just around the corner.
South Dakota residents can register to vote until Oct. 22, 15 days before Election day, Nov. 6.
In order to register to vote on a South Dakota ballot, students must reside in South Dakota, be a U.S. citizen and be 18 years or older by Election Day. If students meet this criteria, registering is as easy as filling out a voter registration form and handing it in to the county auditor.
“The voter registration form is on our website or you can stop by the courthouse and pick one up,” Clay County auditor Ruth Bremer said. “You can register for (Clay County) or your home county. It’s your choice as a student.”
For students who are only interested in casting their votes in the presidential election, it does not matter which county they register in, Bremer said. If students are interested in voting on local issues in their hometown, they must register in their home county.
“Most people are worried about the presidential election,” Bremer said.
There are several organizations on the University of South Dakota’s campus ready to assist students in registering to vote, such as the Student Government Association.
Senior Alissa VanMeeteren, president of SGA, said South Dakota residents looking to register only need to know their driver’s license number. Students from out of state looking to register in South Dakota only need to know the last four digits of their Social Security number. VanMeeteren said SGA will be tabling until Oct. 26.
Joyce Trudeau, president of the College Democrats, said students can register through her organization by picking up a voter registration form, filling it out and returning it to a member of the group.
“We will be doing tabling in the MUC,” Trudeau said. “Otherwise students can always email us to get a registration form.”
College Republicans Vice President Shiloh Day said the Republicans offer similar opportunities.
“We have partnered with the SGA State and Local Committee to table in the (Muenster University Center) and provide students voter registration forms,” Day said. “We table (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) Monday through Thursday.”
Bremer said it’s important students remember the voting
“Don’t wait until the last minute,” Bremer said. “Every election year, people come to register when the deadline has passed and are turned away.”
VanMeeteren said it’s important students have their voices heard in this election.
“Both the presidential and congressional races within South Dakota and the surrounding states are quite close,” VanMeeteren said. “We have an opportunity to make our voices, as citizens of the state and of the country, heard every two years. Missing even one opportunity to do so results in our lack of control over the government. It is our right and responsibility to make our voices heard and our opinions known.”