Press "Enter" to skip to content

Pennington County Four-Day Workweek Cuts into Early Voting Time for Rapid City Voters

In a little bit of unexpected voter suppression, Pennington County’s four-day workweek, implemented at the beginning of this year, means Rapid City voters haven’t been able to cast early votes in their big-money municipal election on Friday:

On Friday, five days before the election, residents were showing up at the office to vote; some also came to register vehicles or renew vehicle licenses. Those who arrived to find the doors locked called out, “It’s closed” across the parking lot to others pulling in.

Many of those showing up were surprised to find out they couldn’t vote.

“Especially for elections it should be open,” said resident Jim Treloar. “If you want to close everything else, I’ve got no problem. I’m surprised during the election time, you can’t vote on Fridays” [Darsha Dodge, “County Building Closure Surprises Rapid City Residents Looking to Cast Their Ballots,” Rapid City Journal, 2023.06.03].

Folks who planned to cast early ballots Friday can head to their regular polling places today to vote for mayor, city council, and school board.


  1. Tim 2023-06-06 06:59

    I was in there last Tue to get plates and decided to vote while I was there, I was surprised to see the voting part was going to be closed on Friday. I don’t see how anyone out here wouldn’t know about the four day work week considering the ongoing fight about it.

  2. P. Aitch 2023-06-06 07:52

    Amidst the tumultuous times in which we find ourselves, a glimmer of hope shines forth from an unassuming source: the United States Postal Service. Through its tireless commitment to delivering mail, regardless of creed, color, or party affiliation the USPS has proven time and again its efficiency and dependability.
    And now, in the face of SD voter suppression by Republicans and situations as noted by Cory within this post, that threaten not only our time constraints but our democracy itself, the USPS stands ready to ensure a safe and fair election through the use of mail-in ballots. No partisan agenda can sway the impartial hand of the mail carrier, and no suppression can penetrate the sealed envelope with its several unique and individualized UPC codes that protect our most sacred right.
    Let us, then, put our trust in the postal service, and let our votes fly freely on the wings of earned trust.

  3. Edwin Arndt 2023-06-06 09:21

    Yes, P. The USPS is the most coruscating example of efficiency imaginable.
    Why, recently my wife ordered new check blanks, and it took the USPS only
    14 days to transport said check blanks from Dallas TX to our house in ND.

  4. P. Aitch 2023-06-06 14:18

    Edwin – Comparing a package to a mail in ballot is not a valid comparison. Got another bit of contrary negativity? Of course you do.
    Research how many cases of mail in voter fraud have been charged and get back to us. You can do that research, can’t you?

  5. cibvet 2023-06-06 14:33

    People who complain about the Post office should make the choice to pay Federal Express or UPS.

  6. Donald Pay 2023-06-06 15:12

    Generally, the USPS does an excellent job. Since the conservative Supreme Court in my state outlawed drop boxes, I’ve used the USPS to deliver my ballots safe and sound to the election offices in my county/city. Never had a problem.

    As far as checks being delivered, you can decide how fast that happens by paying a higher fee for faster delivery. It ain’t the post office’s fault if you have chosen not to take advantage of the faster option. USPS delivery times are based on what you tell the bank/check printers and they tell the post office.

  7. larry kurtz 2023-06-06 15:35

    In South Dakota local control is Republican control and a 6% voter turnout is exactly what they want.

  8. Jackie 2023-06-06 15:51

    Many in Rapid City work 4-day weeks, having Fridays off so they can do errands, such as vehicle registration. With PennCo being closed on Fridays, it means having to take time off from our 4-day week, to do the errands.

  9. DaveFN 2023-06-06 20:50

    Sing the praises of the US Postal Service all you want, but if you are doing mail in ballots its a hassle with many bells and whistles especially for the elderly and disabled.

    “Absentee Vote by mail:

    You may email your absentee ballot application and a copy of your ID to
    Postage to return a voted ballot is $1.20 – don’t forget to SIGN the back of the return envelope
    You may drop your voted ballot off in person by returning the ballot to the County Administration Building, 130 Kansas City Street and dropping your ballot into the ballot box in the Auditor’s Office.”

    First you don’t just get a mail-in ballot but must first obtain an application for a mail-in ballot. Then you must print it off (assuming you have a printer, and if not go to the local Kinko’s or public library—assuming you have transportation) in order to print the application. Then either send in the application with a fee, or travel to a notary public to authorize the application in order to obtain the actual ballot.

    Then pay postage to send the ballot or, again, find transportation to deposit the ballot first-person.

    The elderly and disabled are disadvantaged by the US PO mail-in ballot option.

  10. Donald Pay 2023-06-07 08:13

    DaveFN, Other states have simpler mail-in balloting. South Dakota should modernize it’s voting systems

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.