Madison School District to offer early-voting sessions
By CHUCK CLEMENT, Staff Reporter
Officials with the Madison Central School District will offer plenty of opportunities to voters interested in early voting to do so for the Feb. 1 bond election. Business Manager Cindy Callies is currently conducting absentee voting during business hours in her office at Madison High School. Residents can also vote by mail.|
In addition, Callies will conduct absentee voting during certain events and at some community locations before the election.
"We plan to hold absentee voting during certain events like basketball games and concerts," Callies said. "We're also planning to hold early voting at Madison Elementary School on some dates."
State law requires that 60 percent of the voters in a school bond election must approve the measure before a school district can issue the bonds.
Voting laws give the opportunity for district residents to request that the school district and Callies provide early voting during events or at certain locations such as businesses. Anyone who wants to request holding an early-voting session can call the district's business office at 256-7710.
South Dakota law allows no-excuse early voting for eligible voters, and early voting in the February bond election was possible after Nov. 17.
Chris Nelson, S.D. secretary of state, said that absentee voting in school district elections is typically centered at the business office, but state law provides some discretion for the business managers to offer early voting at other locations.
"A business manager can extend his or her office to other areas and also extend their hours," Nelson said. "If they make that choice, they'll need to honor every request for conducting absentee voting. They can't pick and choose the locations."
The business manager can also deputize any staff members or election workers to perform early-voting tasks.
"As long as that person is deputized and under the control and management of the business manager, it follows the requirements of the law," Nelson said.
During the Feb. 1 election, voters will determine whether the school district can issue up to $16.98 million in general obligation bonds to pay for renovations and additions to the MHS building.
The official polling for the district's general obligation bond election is scheduled from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Feb. 1 at the Downtown Armory in Madison.
Persons living within the boundaries of the Madison Central School District for at least 30 days during the last year are eligible to vote in the school district bond election. If residents have questions about voting eligibility, they can call Kay Schmidt, Lake County auditor, at 256-7600 or Cindy Callies, school district business manager, at 256-7710.
To vote in the bond election, adults living within the school district must have their registration forms delivered to the county auditor's office by Jan. 18.
Eligible residents can also register to vote and vote early during a single visit to the school district business office. Callies can make the voter registration forms available and deliver them to the county auditor's office for filing.
Residents can also register to vote at the county auditor's office, city finance office, driver's license stations and public assistance agencies providing food stamps, Temporary Aid to Needy Families or WIC. They can use mail-in registration by filling out forms available online at the S.D. secretary of state's website at www.sdsos.gov.