- Associated Press - Monday, October 19, 2020

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota’s voter registration numbers have increased 5.2% since the last presidential election.

South Dakota had 572,655 active registered voters as of Friday, according to the Secretary of State’s office. That’s an increase of 28,227 since 2016, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported.

“Voter participation is the foundation of our democracy and I encourage every eligible South Dakota resident who is not yet registered to complete the process and ensure your voice is heard,” Secretary of State Steve Barnett said ahead of Monday’s deadline for registering.

Registered Republicans have increased by 22,921 or 9% compared with 2016. The state had 275,037 registered Republicans, 157,672 Democrats, 136,343 Independents and 2,242 Libertarians as of Friday.

The number of registered South Dakota Democrats continues to fall. The Democrats have seen a 7.6% loss since 2016.

Independents, or those with no political affiliation, saw the biggest rise, percentage-wise, with an almost 15% increase.

Early voting in South Dakota started Sept. 18 and runs through Nov 2.

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