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Republicans have bigger ballot in primary

There's a lot or very little to vote on during today's election in Davison County, depending on where you live and with which political party you are affiliated.

The primary election for national, state and county level seats will mostly impact Republicans, who have U.S. Senate, governor, state representative and county commissioner races on the ballot. Democrats only have the governor's race to vote on.

South Dakota is a closed primary state, meaning only registered voters within a particular party can vote in that party's primary. The Democrats have opened their primary to allow unaffiliated voters to vote. The Republican party primary is open to registered Republicans only.

Regardless, registered residents in the city of Mitchell can vote on a sidewalk wine ordinance, which was referred to a public vote last summer. A "yes" vote on the matter would permit the serving of wine at businesses with more than 50 percent of their gross income coming from food sales. A "no" vote would prohibit the service of wine at a sidewalk cafe in the city.

If passed, businesses would have to be the holder of an on-sale wine license and special permit from the city to operate a sidewalk cafe and would be restricted to the sidewalk fronting the business in the Central Business District. Those wishing to serve wine would also require special insurance to protect the public and city from liability.

The ordinance was passed by the Mitchell City Council in a 5-2 vote. Petitioners needed to get signatures from 5 percent of the city's registered voters to refer the matter to a public vote. Needing 488 signatures at the time, petitioners received nearly 700.

When today's election takes political sides, Republicans will have more to decide on. Following is a list of Republican voting issues on the ballot today:

• For U.S. Senate, voters may choose one candidate: Stace Nelson, Mike Rounds, Annette Bosworth, Jason Ravnsborg and Larry Rhoden. The top vote-getter in the Senate primary needs 35 percent of the vote to win the nomination.

• For governor, voters may choose one candidate: Lora Hubbel or incumbent Gov. Dennis Daugaard.

• For District 20 state representative, voters may choose up to two candidates: David Stevens, Joshua Klumb and incumbent Tona Rozum.

• For Davison County Commissioner in District 3, voters may choose one candidate: challenger Leon Baier or incumbent Gerald Weiss.

Democrats may choose one candidate for governor: Joe Lowe or Susan Wismer.

For a rundown of voting locations in Davison County, see the box on Page A1.

Polls across the state will open at 7 a.m. and will close at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Election results will be released starting at 8 p.m., according to Davison County Auditor Susan Kiepke. Voters in line when the polls close will be allowed to vote.

Voters will be required to present a photo ID before being allowed to vote. Acceptable forms of voter identification are a South Dakota driver's license or non-driver ID card, a U.S. government photo ID, a current student photo ID from a South Dakota high school college, university or technical school, or a tribal photo ID.

Registration for the election is closed, as South Dakota does not allow election-day voter registration.

Kiepke said absentee voting was slow until the last few days and has since picked up in pace. She said she's expecting about 25 percent of the registered voters in the county to cast their ballots in the primary before the polls close tonight.