Disillusioned voters who don’t like any of the presidential candidates in the Nov. 8 general election may be tempted to write in another name. Doing so is not allowed by state law, said Secretary of State Shantel Krebs. “What it doesn’t do is it does not throw the entire ballot out,” she said at a Beadle County Republican Party campaign luncheon in Huron on Monday. “That’s the misconception right now,” she said. “Your ballot is still marked race by race. Any race not marked is not counted.” The intense interest in the presidential race between frontrunners Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is prompting the national media to regularly call secretaries of state across the country. Krebs said she also gets as many as 1,500 e-mail inquiries a day in her office.
Along with Democrat Clinton and Republican Trump, there are candidates for the Constitution and Libertarian parties on the South Dakota ballot.
It takes 6,900 signatures to become recognized as a political party in the state. To maintain party status, those organizations must have a candidate for governor on the ballot. If they don’t, they lose party status.
“That’s why the Constitution and Libertarian Party had to regain their status this year and go gather those signatures again, because they didn’t have a gubernatorial candidate” in 2014, Krebs said.