The Perfect Enemy | South Dakota election 2022 guide to midterms, governor race and voting
September 29, 2022

South Dakota election 2022 guide to midterms, governor race and voting

South Dakota election 2022 guide to midterms, governor race and voting  Argus Leader

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Election Day is quickly approaching, meaning South Dakotans will turn out to the polls to vote for the next governor as well as a few ballot measures, including one that could seek to legalize recreational marijuana and another that could expand Medicaid.

From who’s challenging first-term Gov. Kristi Noem to re-election races in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S Senate, as well as seats up for grabs in the state legislature, the Argus Leader has created a guide for voters to keep in mind before they head to the polls.

There’s coverage, Q+As and analysis pieces all pulled from our archives during the past few months.

Early voting started Friday, and those wishing to register to vote have until Oct. 24.Election Day is Nov. 8.

Where do I vote in South Dakota?

The South Dakota Secretary of State’s website has a voter information portal to check your voter registration and polling location. If you haven’t moved recently, your polling location likely hasn’t changed. You’ll also get your legislative district and voting precinct.

More:A guide to voter rights in South Dakota. What you need to know before you cast a ballot

You can also view a sample ballot of the one you’ll see on Election Day.

If you’re not registered to vote, you have until Oct. 24. You can register at your county auditor’s office, print and mail the registration form or register when you get your driver’s license. Absentee voting started Friday. 

Those wishing to absentee vote must fill out an application and submit it to their county auditor’s office. Only those covered by the Uniformed and Overseas Absentee Voting Act can submit their absentee vote application form through email or fax.

South Dakota’s gubernatorial race

Kristi Noem and Jamie Smith.

Running for her second term, Noem is facing Democratic Rep. Jamie Smith, who has spent six years in the state legislature.

Noem has spent the campaign talking about her leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and how well South Dakota businesses have done during the past few years. She’s regularly gone after Smith, comparing him to a liberal who wants to pursue President Joe Biden’s progressive agenda.

Smith, the minority leader in the SD House of Representatives, has spent his campaign focusing on issues like childcare, healthcare, including abortion access, and teacher pay. He’s hit back at the governor’s snubs by calling her out on her travel outside of the state and personal political aspirations. 

Tracey Quint, who has lived in Sioux Falls since 2016, is running as the libertarian candidate.

About the race so far:

U.S. Senate

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. In an interview with The Associated Press, Sen. Thune, the chamber's No. 2 Republican, likened Trump's insults of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to "food fights within the family," saying they hurt the Republican party's goals. Thune also talked about his vote to acquit Trump of inciting the attack on the U.S. Capitol that left five people dead.

Sen. John Thune, the second-highest ranking Republican in Congress, is seeking re-election for his fourth term. He faces Democratic challenger Brian Bengs, who grew up in Iowa and has spent the last six years in Aberdeen with his family, and Libertarian candidate Tamara Lesnar, a transplant from Chicago with family ties in Day County.

U.S. House of Representatives

U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson gives a thumbs-up to a supporter as he takes the stage at an election night watch party on Tuesday, June 7, 2022, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Sioux Falls.

First-term Rep. Dusty Johnson is facing Libertarian challenger Collin Duprel, a fifth-generation South Dakotan from Rapid City, in November.

Ballot Measures

Amendment D: This would amend the state Constitution to expand Medicaid access to tens of thousands of South Dakotans. Federal funding for the program would increase and the state could potentially save hundreds of thousands of dollars.

South Dakotans “over the age of 18 and under the age of 65 whose income is at or below 113% the federal poverty level, plus 5% of the federal poverty level for the applicable family size” would be eligible under the proposed expansion, according to the Attorney General’s explanation of the ballot measure.

Initiated Measure 27: The sale, possession and use of recreational marijuana would become legal if IM 27 passes. 

This is the second attempt to legalize recreational marijuana since 2020. South Dakota voters legalized medical marijuana that year as well as a constitutional amendment regarding recreational marijuana. But Amendment A, as it was known at the time, was subject to a court battle brought forth by Noem and two law enforcement officers. The South Dakota Supreme Court ruled in 2021 Amendment A violated the state Constitution requirement that amendments could not have more than one subject.

Unlike the first time, IM 27 would leave the tax and regulatory structure up to the Legislature to decide during the upcoming session in the new year.

Wholestone Farms: Sioux Falls voters will find another ballot question when they get into the polling booth. The measure is about whether the City of Sioux Falls should prohibit the construction of new slaughterhouses within city limits.

The ballot measure comes after serious opposition to the construction of Wholestone Farms, a Nebraska-based pork processor that announced its intention to build a $500 million pork processing plant in the northeastern part of the city.

The business, in response, announced it would open a “custom slaughterhouse” at the site of the proposed plant by October that would allow customers to choose a farmer to provide a pig for butchering. That sparked its own kind of legal battle with Smart Growth Sioux Falls, a group that opposes the plant, suing Wholestone, Sioux Falls Mayor Paul Tenhaken and the Sioux Falls City Council over if Wholestone has the right permits and approval to build.

Sioux Falls-area House and Senate legislative races

There are multiple races for the nine legislative districts around Sioux Falls and the surrounding area this November.

South Dakota Legislative District 25 encompasses rural Minnehaha County and Moody County.

Some races include returning faces while others feature young newcomers. To see details on these races more in-depth, stay with us for more election coverage at the ArgusLeader.com.

Follow Annie Todd on Twitter @AnnieTodd96. Reach out to her with tips, questions and other community news at atodd@argusleader.com or give her a call at 605-215-3757.