SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – Voters in heavily Republican South Dakota head to the polls Tuesday for primary elections that set the November slate for governor, U.S. Senate and several legislative seats.
Here are five things to know about the election:
Secretary of State Jason Gant says nearly 10,700 absentee ballots have been cast for South Dakota’s Tuesday primary election. More than 11,800 ballots have been sent out to military personnel, students and residents who will be away from the state during the election. Absentee voting is also available in person at county courthouses, but it ends at 5 p.m. Monday.
2. THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT
South Dakota voters can now download a free mobile app to check voting information that’s personalized based on where they live. “Vote605″ is available for Apple and Android devices and can be downloaded from the Secretary of State’s website. Users can see where they vote, what’s on their ballot and other voter registration and election information.
3. RISE AND SHINE
Voting stations are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time. Primary turnout traditionally has been low, but South Dakota Secretary of State Jason Gant predicts a slightly above average turnout at the polls. He expects about 40 percent of Republicans and 20 percent of Democrats to vote.
4. CROWDED U.S. SENATE RACE
A five-way race among Republicans seeking the party nomination for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Tim Johnson has garnered state-wide buzz. Former Gov. Mike Rounds, state Sen. Larry Rhoden, state Rep. Stace Nelson, attorney and Army Reserves Maj. Jason Ravnsborg and physician Annette Bosworth are competing for their party’s bid. A winner with at least 35 percent of the vote earns the nomination. A runoff between the top two candidates will be held Aug. 12 if no one gets 35 percent.
5. GOVERNOR’S MANSION
Democrats Tuesday will choose a nominee for the race for the Governor’s office. Former head of the state wildfire agency Joe Lowe and state Rep. Susan Wismer, of Britton, are vying to get to the general election. Daugaard faces former state Rep. Lora Hubbel of Sioux Falls, but he is widely expected to win Tuesday. South Dakota hasn’t elected a Democratic governor in 40 years.
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