Help stop House Bill 1217, legislation that would make it harder for South Dakotans to vote absentee.  

House Bill 1217, legislation that would require voters to provide a reason for early voting, made its way out of the House Local Government Committee last week.

We oppose this bill because it would negatively impact the ability for rural voters, Indigenous folks, election workers, anyone to cast an absentee ballot. 

Additionally, this bill would narrow the window of opportunity for voters to cast an absentee ballot from 46 days to just 30 days leading up to an election, further restricting access to participating in democracy. 

FIGHT BACK FOR VOTING RIGHTS: Contact your representatives now and ask them to oppose House Bill 1217. 


Elections are central to our democracy and to our government’s legitimacy. Restricting who is eligible to cast an absentee ballot limits the ability of all South Dakotans to participate in democracy.  

Whether you send an email or make a phone call to express your opposition to House Bill 1217, the choice is yours. Just act fast: The House of Representatives will reconsider this bill on Wednesday, Feb. 22.  

Calling? Here’s a script to get you started:  

  • Dial 605-773-3251 to get connected to a staff person at the Capitol. 
  • Once connected, say something like this: Hello, my name is [your name]. I’d like to leave a note for my Representatives in District [your district.] Have the note say, “Please vote NO on House Bill 1217 and defend everyone’s right to vote.”  

Writing an email? Here’s a script to get you started:  

  • Find your lawmaker's email.  
  • Once you find the right email(s), write something like: “Greetings, my name is [your name] and I’m a constituent in your District. I’m writing to you today to express my concerns about House Bill 1217, legislation that would make it harder for me and my neighbors to vote absentee. This legislation not only adds unnecessary requirements like demanding to know why someone wants to vote early, but also it shortens the time South Dakotans have access to early voting. This will most certainly make it harder for people like poll workers, Indigenous voters, and rural South Dakotans to vote. Please OPPOSE House Bill 1217. Let’s make sure every eligible voter in South Dakota can cast a ballot without worry or burden. Thank you, [your name and number.]