Media Contact

Janna Farley,

October 27, 2022

Voting is a fundamental right of our democracy. The decisions made in city halls, state legislatures, the United States Congress and every other level of government affect the lives of all South Dakotans.

But decisions really get made by people who show up and vote – which is why casting a ballot this year, whether that is in person on Nov. 8 or absentee, which people are already doing – is critical.

That’s why the ACLU is sharing videos of South Dakotans sharing the reasons why they vote as part of its voting rights campaign. Jac Franken from Sioux Falls, Keatyn Wede from Mitchell, Carter Linke from Vermillion and Paul Harens from Yankton are featured.

“Elections matter. And the elections this November could affect the course of our country and our democracy for decades to come,” said Libby Skarin, ACLU of South Dakota campaigns director. “As voters, we have the power to define what freedom looks like and who gets access to it. We can create communities where we all can live with safety, dignity and joy. But when we don’t vote, we let others decide what freedom looks like. Elected officials don’t have the final say when it comes to our rights – we do.”

The ACLU of South Dakota’s voting rights campaign encourages voters to vote their values and fight for their rights and has a variety of print-on-demand resources on its website, including a voter conversation guide and a know your rights flyer.

About the ACLU of South Dakota

Based in Sioux Falls, the American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU of South Dakota is part of a three-state chapter that also includes North Dakota and Wyoming. The team in South Dakota is supported by staff in those states.

The ACLU believes freedoms of press, speech, assembly and religion, and the rights to due process, equal protection and privacy, are fundamental to a free people. In addition, the ACLU seeks to advance constitutional protections for groups traditionally denied their rights, including people of color, women and the LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit communities. The ACLU of South Dakota carries out its work through selective litigation, lobbying at the state and local level, and through public education and awareness of what the Bill of Rights means for the people of South Dakota.