2022 South Dakota Issues Poll

Publication date: October 14, 2022
Written by: Travis Taylor

The Center for Excellence in Polling (CEP) recently surveyed likely voters in South Dakota on a range of reforms, from occupational licensing to election integrity to school choice.

Results indicate there is broad and often bipartisan support for policies designed to get people back to work, secure the electoral process, and keep South Dakota safe.

Election integrity is a top concern for South Dakotans. CEP asked respondents about a broad range of election security reforms and found majority support for nearly all the reforms. For many of the reforms, strong support was evident, regardless of party affiliation.

One of the most important issues was ballot security:


…of all likely voters oppose allowing biased or partisan special interest groups to send unsolicited absentee ballot applications to voters who did not request them. This reform has support from nine in 10 Republicans, nearly two-thirds of Democrats, and three-quarters of Independents.


…of all likely voters support creating a special investigative unit that is tasked with investigating alleged violations of election law. The broad support for this reform, including from more than eight in 10 Republican and Independent voters and a majority of Democrats, indicates that South Dakota voters are not confident in the current process for investigating election law violations.


…of all likely voters support requiring voter identification on absentee ballots. While South Dakota already has a requirement for voters to prove their identity when voting in person, 83 percent of South Dakota Republicans, 59 percent of Democrats, and 74 percent of Independent voters say it’s not enough and support extending this quintessential ballot security measure to voters who choose to vote absentee.


…of all likely voters support requiring election agencies to issue an annual report to the state legislature detailing their voter roll maintenance activities. This reform, which garners support across the political spectrum, would give voters confidence that the voter rolls in South Dakota are clean and free of ineligible voters.

While ballot security is a top concern for South Dakota voters, large majorities of voters also want to eliminate undue federal influence and interference with how the state runs its elections.


…of all likely voters support requiring the state legislature to be notified about federal election guidance and to vote to approve that guidance before it can be implemented. This reform would put South Dakota elected officials, rather than Washington bureaucrats, in charge of the state’s elections. Such local control of elections is supported by a majority of voters, regardless of partisan affiliation.


…of all likely voters support requiring the state legislature and governor to be notified of any federal election-related communications. When Washington bureaucrats try to interfere with State election officials and circumvent the people’s representatives, South Dakota voters want their elected officials kept in the loop.

Beyond election integrity, South Dakota voters support policies that will help South Dakotans learn and work without being inhibited by red tape.


…of all likely voters—nearly eight in 10, regardless of party affiliation— support allowing new South Dakota residents with an active occupational license in good standing in another state to be granted the same license in South Dakota as long as they pay the licensing fee and pass a background check.


…of all likely voters agree that the state should set aside some educational funding that parents can spend to enhance or support their children’s education. This reform is supported by a majority of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.