ACLU’s Guide to Voting in South Dakota For Transgender, Non-Binary, or Gender Non-Conforming Voters

Every vote matters. Your voice deserves to be heard at the ballot box. 

If you identify as transgender, non-binary, or gender non-conforming, you may have encountered problems in the past with someone questioning your identity because of your name, gender marker, or photo on your ID – alternatively you might just be nervous about whether or not this will happen.  

Simply put, no one should question you about your identity. Information provided on this page aims to help you if election officials are giving you trouble at the polls.   

How do I vote? Why should I? 

ACLU Nationwide has pulled together helpful resources about how and why everyone who is eligible should vote here: Take a look then share why YOU plan to vote. 

What if my ID doesn’t represent how I appear today? 

Shouldn’t be an issue. Instead of presenting your ID, you may request a “personal identification affidavit.” This is a form that confirms your identity by having you provide information such as your name and address and then signing said form under penalty of perjury. After completing this form, you will be given a regular ballot and proceed to cast your vote. 

What if I show a poll worker my ID and they claim it cannot be used to verify my identity? 

If you do show the poll worker your approved form of ID, and they claim that the picture on the ID does not verify your identity, you still have several options. First, you will be given an opportunity to explain why the photo on the ID does not match your current appearance. Additionally, you will be given an opportunity to provide other documents or forms of ID to confirm your identity.  

If your explanation and/or additional documents do not satisfy the poll worker, don’t worry; you can still vote using a provisional ballot. Provisional ballots ensure that a voter is not excluded from voting due to an administrative error such as this.  

If you vote by provisional ballot, the election commissioner or county auditor will verify that your ballot is eligible to be counted. To facilitate this process, you may need to provide them with additional documentation confirming your identity. Ask your poll worker for more information or call your local election official after leaving the polling place.  

You can check to see if your ballot was counted by visiting or calling the South Dakota Secretary of State’s office at 605-773-3537. 

If you run into issues, call your county auditor or the Nonpartisan Election Protection Hotline 1-866-687-8683.  

What if I changed my name since I last registered to vote?  

If you have legally changed your name, you will need to update your voter file. The due date for this was Oct. 19. You can update in person at your auditor’s office or by mail via the forms you can find at  

What if I moved since I last registered to vote?  

If you moved recently, you must update your registration accordingly in order to vote on Nov. 3. The deadline for this was Oct. 19.  

What happens if the poll worker won’t let me vote? 

If the poll worker refuses to provide you your ballot, a personal identification affidavit, or a provisional ballot, you should immediately contact your county auditor or the Nonpartisan Election Protection Hotline 1-866-687-8683. They are available to provide immediate assistance on election day.   

  • English: 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) 
  • Español: 888-VE-Y-VOTA (888-839-8682) 
  • Asian & Pacific languages: 888-API-VOTE (888-274-8683) 
  • Arabic: 844-YALLA-US (844-925-5287) 
  • American Sign Language video call number: 301-818-VOTE (301-818-8683) 

Fight for your right to vote.  If all else fails, demand to vote by provisional ballot.  If you cast a provisional ballot, you’ll need to follow up with your local election official with additional information for your ballot to be counted and to determine if your ballot was counted.  

Questions? Email us at or tweet your queries to us @aclusouthdakota.  


Banner image via the Pierre Area Center for Equality