South Dakota primary turnout highest since 2010 election

June 9, 2022 GMT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Officials say South Dakota recorded its largest primary election turnout in more than a decade, with roughly one in every three registered voters casting a ballot.

The 32% showing was the most since the 2010 primary, when nearly 35% of voters cast ballots in a race with several Republicans fighting for the nomination for governor. The nod went to Dennis Daugaard.

The 2010 and 2022 primaries were similar in makeup in that Democratic presidents who were unpopular in the state, Joe Biden and Barack Obama, were in the middle of their first terms, the Argus Leader reported.

This year’s turnout was bolstered by a historic number of Republican legislative primaries and a controversial constitutional amendment. The initiative proposed by Republican lawmakers would have placed a 60% vote threshold on ballot measures to raise taxes or spend more than $10 million within five years of enactment.


All but 3% of people who cast ballots voted on Amendment C. The measure lost 67%-33%.

However, there were no topline statewide offices in doubt as Gov. Kristi Noem, Sen. John Thune and Rep. Dusty Johnson cruised to victories.

General election turnouts are much higher, particularly in presidential years. Turnout in the 2020 general election was 74%.