• October 2020

Be prepared on Election Day

By Debra Owen
Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020. A day we actively engage in our democracy as a community and nation. We love our community and living in South Dakota. We are still fortunate enough to talk with each other at not at each other, even when we disagree.

One of the values of Chamber membership is your access to the resources and knowledge of the advocacy team.

To vote in the November election, you must be registered to vote by October 19. Registering to vote is not difficult, in fact, it can be fun. When is the last time you visited with your local county auditor? Unlike going to the dentist, a trip to our county auditor's office is pain free and costs nothing. Seriously, get to know your local public servant. They are helpful in numerous ways, including ensuring you are registered to vote.

If you are not sure if you are registered vote, you can confirm your status through the South Dakota Secretary of State's (SOS) website. Visit www.sdsos.gov and click on the voter information portal. Looking up your name on the SOS website can save you a trip to your county auditor, but keep the idea of a future road trip in your pocket.

Once registered to vote, you can vote early by absentee voting. The options are requesting ballot by mail or dropping by your local county auditor to vote in person. If this is your first visit to the auditor's office, make it a good one.

What's on the ballot that you will be considering in 2020?

  • Local and statewide candidates running for office;
  • Local bond measures and related local issues, if applicable; and
  • Three ballot measures.

The length of a General Election ballot can be a bit overwhelming. Here's where your Chamber can help. For the last three months, our Board and the Issues Management Council have spent time delving into each of the ballot measures and have taken positions on all of them. Here is the summary:

  • Initiated Measure 26 (IM-26) seeks to legalize the medical use of marijuana. The Chamber has taken a position to remain neutral.
  • Constitutional Amendment A (CA-A) seeks to legalize, regulate and tax recreational marijuana for South Dakota citizens 21 years or older. The Chamber has taken a position to oppose CA-A.
  • Constitutional Amendment B (CA-B) seeks to authorize the legislature to allow sports wagering in Deadwood. The Chamber has taken a position to remain neutral.

To learn more about each of these ballot issues and why the Chamber adopted the positions it has on each, visit siouxfallschamber.com/issue-briefs.cfm.

The Chamber can also provide you analysis on the candidates running for the legislature in your district. At the end of each legislative session we publish a Legislative Scorecard. It is just one part of the full Legislative Annual report, which can be found on our website at siouxfallschamber.com/annual-legislative-report.cfm. The Scorecard is on page 34 of the Legislative Report. You can also drop by the Chamber and we'd be happy to provide you with a hard copy of the Legislative Report.

Lastly, did you know you can request a sample ballot prior to voting? This is a very helpful tool, especially when faced with long ballots. By picking up a sample ballot at your county auditor's office, you can get a head start on reviewing what you will be voting on. You can mark up your sample ballot with the decisions you make prior to casting your vote.

Remember the Chamber is a resource for your business. In addition to our Legislative Scorecard and Issue Briefs, you can give us a call to ask questions. One of the values of Chamber membership is your access to the resources and knowledge of the advocacy team.

For this election, please consider supporting and encouraging pro-business office holders and office seekers. Let's work to keep a good thing going and keep our economy moving forward.

Thank you to our Chamber News Premium Sponsors

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