More than 100K South Dakotans have absentee ballots

PIERRE, S.D. (KEVN TV) – More than 100,000 South Dakotans have requested absentee ballots for the 2016 general election; but will it be a record early vote?

The all-time record for absentee votes was set in 2008 with 100,780 ballots. We don't know yet if this year's ballot requests will result in a record number of absentee votes cast.

Secretary of State Shantel Krebs stated, “Since absentee voting began on Sept. 23, 103,425 South Dakota voters have utilized the absentee voting process by requesting an absentee ballot. With 10 ballot questions and a presidential race on the ballot South Dakota voters are making sure their voice is heard.”

The mass of early ballots is expected to slow the counting process Tuesday, according to a release from the Secretary of State’s office.

Absentee ballots are not opened until the day of the election. Each ballot envelope is individually sealed, the signature is reviewed and then the envelope is hand opened. Often time ballots have been folded and will need to be unfolded.

"We ask for your patience. Our objective is to ensure accurate results," Krebs said.

Election returns can be viewed after 7 p.m. Mountain Time, Tuesday; on the Black Hills Fox KEVN website and live on Black Hills Fox KEVN TV.