Simplified: South Dakotans largely know who's representing them in Congress, in Pierre and in the Governor's mansion – though some tight legislative races are close enough that we might see a recount. As of 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, nearly all of the votes in the state had been reported. Here's what we know.
Why it matters
- Even with some late nights for ballot counters, many of the major races were called early in the evening. Sen. John Thune's fourth term was confirmed very quickly after polls closed, and Rep. Dusty Johnson's third term was confirmed shortly after. Gov. Kristi Noem's second term was confirmed a couple hours later.
- Voter turnout was nearly 60% statewide – which, for perspective is much higher than the primary election, but about five percentage points lower than the 2018 Midterm Elections. Minnehaha County saw about 58% turnout, and Lincoln County saw just over 64% turnout.
- The closest local race to watch – outside of some legislative district races (look at Districts 12 & 15, for example,) – was the Sioux Falls slaughterhouse measure. That failed with 52% of the vote, meaning there will be no change to city ordinance, and new slaughterhouses will continue to be allowed within city limits.
So, who won?
Here's a quick rundown of statewide races:
U.S. Senate: John Thune won a historic fourth term, only the second South Dakota Senator in history to claim that victory, per SDPB. He beat out Democrat Brian Bengs and Libertarian Tamara Lesnar with 70% of the vote.
U.S. House: Dusty Johnson will go back to D.C. for a third term after beating Libertarian Collin Duprel. He won handily with 77% of votes.
Governor and Lieutenant Governor: Gov. Kristi Noem and Lt. Gov. Larry Rhoden won a second term with about 62% of the vote. Democratic challenger Jamie Smith and his running mate Jennifer Keintz took about 35% of the vote, and Libertarian candidates Tracey Quint and Ashley Strand got the remaining 3%.
Secretary of State: Republican Monae Johnson beat out Democrat Tom Cool with 64% of the vote.
Attorney General: Republican Marty Jackley ran unopposed and, naturally, won.
State Auditor: Incumbent Richard Sattgast won another term with 63% of the vote.
State Treasurer: Republican Josh Haeder took home 67% of votes over Democrat John Cunningham.
Commissioner of School and Public Lands: Republican Brock Greenfield also took 67% of votes over Democrat Timothy Azure.
Public Utilities Commissioner: Republican Chris Nelson got 69% of the vote in the race against Democrat Jeff Barth.
Here's how the ballot measures ended up:
Amendment D (Medicaid expansion measure): Passed with 56% of voters saying, "Yes, expand Medicaid."
Initiated Measure 27 (legal marijuana): Failed with 53% of voters saying, "No, don't legalize recreational marijuana."
Here's how things shook out in Sioux Falls:
Initiated measure to ban slaughterhouses: Failed, with 52% of voters saying, "Don't ban slaughterhouses."
Minnehaha County Commissioners: Republican candidates took home all three wins, each with about 22% of the vote. That means Commissioner Gerald Beninga gets another term, and newcomers Joe Kippley and Jen Bleyenberg will join the commission.
Minnehaha County Auditor: Republican Leah Anderson got 58% of the vote over Democrat Brian Wirth.
How can I find who won state legislative races?
All of those results are on the South Dakota Secretary of State's website.
Step 1: Identify your district.
Step 2: Go to the "Legislative Races" link at elections.sd.gov.
Step 3: Scroll to your district and see who won.
(If you have any trouble, I'll do what I can to help. Email email@example.com)