WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Tuesday, March 21, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) signed 12 election bills into law. These bills include Senate Bill 139, which imposes a strict residency requirement to vote, and House Bill 1165, which bans drop boxes in the state. Under S.B. 139, individuals who move to South Dakota within 45 days of an election will be blocked from voting in that election. H.B. 1165 requires all voters to return mail-in ballots by mail or in-person to elections officials, effectively prohibiting the use of drop boxes.
Other bills Noem signed into law on Tuesday include:
- Senate Bill 55, which prohibits ranked-choice voting,
- Senate Bill 113, which modifies the petition process for ballot measures,
- Senate Bill 140, which updates the process for voter list maintenance,
- Senate Bill 160, which establishes post-election audits,
- Senate Bill 161, which appropriates $3 million in election funding,
- Senate Bill 207, which creates a penalty for using public funds to influence the outcome of an election,
- House Bill 1123, which allows school boards to modify the lengths of terms for members,
- House Bill 1124, which modifies how automatic tabulation equipment is tested,
- House Bill 1140, which requires the secretary of state to determine if a constitutional amendment proposed by the Legislature complies with state constitutional requirements and
- House Bill 1148, which clarifies the registration and residence requirements for voting at a township meeting.
Noem has not ruled out running for president in 2024. Signing restrictive bills like H.B. 1165 and S.B. 139 could position her within the mainstream of the Republican party given its continued efforts to restrict drop boxes and limit mail-in voting in Republican-controlled states across the country.