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PNS Daily Newscast - November 21, 2018 


Senators from both sides of the aisle want Trump to clear the air on the Khashoggi killing. Also on the Wednesday rundown: Massachusetts leads the U.S. in the fentanyl-overdose death rate; plus we will let you know why business want to preserve New Mexico’s special places.

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ACLU Offers Hotline Help for South Dakota Voters

South Dakota, where early voting started on Sept. 21, is one of 37 states and the District of Columbia that offer voting without requiring an absentee excuse or justification. (nativevillage.org)
South Dakota, where early voting started on Sept. 21, is one of 37 states and the District of Columbia that offer voting without requiring an absentee excuse or justification. (nativevillage.org)
November 5, 2018

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Like many other states, South Dakota is expecting a larger than normal voter turnout for tomorrow's midterms, and the ACLU of South Dakota is stepping up to make sure voters can report any problems they encounter.

As of Friday, the Secretary of State's office said nearly 79,000 absentee ballots have been requested, compared with 55,000 in 2014. If all those ballots are cast, absentee voting would increase by 42 percent. 


ACLU of South Dakota Executive Director Heather Smith said the one-day phone hotline will be active for tomorrow's election to allow voters to report any violations or irregularities.

"The reason we've done this is because we believe that the right to vote is so essential to our democracy, that it really is our obligation to make sure it goes off correctly,” Smith said.

The hotline number is 605-368-0644 and will operate from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Smith said the ACLU would like to hear from voters who are denied provisional ballots, have problems with voting machines, are asked for identification or proof of citizenship when not required by law, or observe bias among poll workers or efforts to tamper with voting machines.

Smith said no matter where your polling place is located, you should be able to vote without experiencing any type of intimidation or harassment.

"So if someone's standing outside of the poll and they're harassing you about who you are voting for, we also would love to hear about that,” she said. “Virtually any concern that comes up, if something feels a little ‘off’ on the day, we would encourage people to call our voter hotline so that we know that information."

The ACLU also is offering free rides to and from polling places for Sioux Falls voters without transportation. They also will monitor the need in surrounding communities such as Harrisburg, Tea and Dell Rapids.

Visit aclusd.org for more information. The site also offers "Know Your Rights" brochures in English, Spanish and Arabic, and in braille by request.

Roz Brown, Public News Service - SD