The Secretary of State reports that South Dakota begins the new year with 0.94% fewer active registered voters than it had at the beginning of 2021. According to the monthly tally, the number of active registered voters dropped over the year from 581,354 to 575,899. By the Census’s estimate, that means 100,000 adults in South Dakota, about 1 out of 7, who are not registered to vote. Maybe 13,400 of them are disqualified from voting by felony convictions.
The net decline of 5,455 registered voters over 2021 is actually smaller than the decline of 5,979 voters in the registered Democratic ranks (down 3.77% for the year). After the traditional fall purge of the voter roles, Republicans saw their ranks decline just 142 (–0.05%) from last January. Independents grew by 453 (+0.32%), and Libertarians added 227 (+9.55%).
There are 279,331 registered Republicans, 152,709 Democrats, 139,874 independents, and 2,605 Libertarians. If Libertarians can continue their annual growth rate of 9.55%, their ranks will top 100,000 in South Dakota in 2062.
Republicans now constitute 48.5% of South Dakota’s electorate, up from 48.07% in January 2021. Democrats have slid from 27.3% to 26.5%. Independents have crept up from 24.0% to 24.3%. Ten years ago, those percentages were 45.9% GOP, 36.8% Dem, and 17.1% ind.