Every four years it comes around, although in 2020 the Presidential election just seems like a completely different animal.

And while we may not have a definitive decision as to the outcome of the balloting two weeks from tonight, it does seem like more of us will be involved in the process this time.

As for voter turnout, South Dakota has some work to do after checking in 31st in the nation in 2016, with just under 59 percent of the state's registered voters casting ballots. That was slightly less than the national aveage (60.1%).

In the run-up to this year's election, Apple News looked at 2016 voting data from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission's Election Administration and Voting Survey, as well as numbers from the MIT Election Data and Science Lab and found that our neighbors in Minnesota were best represented at the polls four years ago (74.2 percent turnout), while voters in Hawaii were the least engaged (42.2 percent)

In South Dakota in 2016, ten different counties saw better than 70 percent of registered voters cast ballots:

  1. Jones 90.7%
  2. Hanson 86.7%
  3. Sully 81.2%
  4. Harding 80.6%
  5. Potter 73.5%
  6. Campbell 73.2%
  7. Aurora 72.9%
  8. Douglas 71.8%
  9. Lake 70.9%
  10. Union 70.9%

South Dakota also had ten states that saw fewer than half of their registered voters go to the polls:

  1. Oglala Lakota 32.5%
  2. Todd 35.5%
  3. Buffalo 38.9%
  4. Ziebach 41.1%
  5. Corson 43.7%
  6. Clay 45.2%
  7. Dewey 46.5%
  8. Mellette 47.9%
  9. Jackson 48.3%
  10. Brookings 49.5%

As for the state's two largest counties, Minnehaha and Pennington were right at the state average four years ago, with right around 58 percent turnout in each.

It will be very interesting to see what effect, if any, the sharp increase in voting by mail due to COVID-19 will have on voter turnout numbers in what will perhaps be the most memorable election in most of our lives.

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