Be a South Dakota Guardian of Democracy

4 mins read

What’s the difference between Poll Worker & Poll Watcher?

Poll Worker:
Nonpartisan, Paid (Clerks, Judges, Inspectors, Checker, Precinct Worker)

Poll Watcher:
Partisan, Volunteer (Observers, Monitors, Challengers)



To be a poll worker (Precinct Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent, Ballot Clerk, Voter Assist Terminal, Absentee Precinct Deputy) You must be 18+, registered to vote in South Dakota, a resident of the county & precinct 15+ days prior to the election, complete training. $125-$200 per election, To signup, contact county auditor. 

  • Find your County Auditor here.


  • Precinct Superintendent – responsible for overall management of polling place & returns election supplies to Auditor’s Office on election night with another poll worker.
  • Precinct Deputy – responsible for properly processing voters, looking up voter registration in pollbook; verifies voter ID and/or personal ID affidavit; records voter’s record/history in ePollBook.
  • Ballot Clerk – issues correct ballot to voters & supervises ballot box.
  • Voter Assist Terminal – assists voters with disabilities who vote on the ExpressVote ballot marking device
  • Absentee Precinct Deputy – processes absentee ballots, transports ballots to counting center.


County Auditor, 20+ days before any election (from list submitted by each party 45+ days before election) appoints 1 precinct superintendent & 2 precinct deputies who constitute the precinct election board.

Approx DEADLINE to sign up to be a Poll Worker

September 19, 2020


At least one poll watcher for each political party, one poll watcher for each independent candidate, one poll watcher for each slate of presidential electors, and one poll watcher for each side of any ballot issue to be voted on may be present at each polling place for general elections. (Administrative Rule 5:02:12:02) Any person, except a candidate who is on the ballot being voted on at that polling place, may be present at any polling place for the purpose of observing the voting process.

Who is Authorized to Challenge a Voter’s Eligibility on Election Day?

The person’s right to vote at that poll and election may be challenged only as to the person’s identity as the person registered whom the person claims to be or on grounds that within fifteen days preceding the election the person has been convicted of a felony or declared by proper authority to be mentally incompetent.

Resources for South Dakota:

  • Retweetable Tweet with links for South Dakota here.
  • Shareable FB post & downloadable graphic here.  
  • GoogleDoc here.

POLL WORKER (and Poll Watcher) Requirements & links to sign-up in All 50 States, STATE BY STATE Including:

  • Who is Authorised to Challenge a Voter’s Eligibility on Election Day? 
  • & Links to retweetable TWEETS & shareable FB Posts for each State
  • Twitter THREAD with links here.
  • Facebook shareable Album with downloadable graphics here.
  • On the Postcards for America website here.
  • On the Unhack the Vote Website here.

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Postcards for America gives you PC2As (Postcarders Calls to Action) on key bills, topics and issues so you have all the info you need to write your Reps about your concerns.
Addresses, background information and even Suggested Wording provided.

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