The South Dakota primary election is set for Tuesday, and offers an interesting congressional race to keep an eye on.
The ballot for the Democratic Party only has one race as Jeff Barth and Matt Varilek vie for the party’s nomination for U.S. Representative. The winner of the election will face off against Republican Kristi Noem, South Dakota’s current representative, in the November 6 general election.
The Republican ballot also has one contest, but has five options for Republican voters to choose for the presidential nominee. Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul are on the ballot, however, all but Romney has withdrawn from the presidential race. There is also an option for voters to select “uncommitted.”
Election times are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. central time and voters must cast their votes in their delegated polling place.
PolicyMic will be providing LIVE updates throughout Tuesday’s vote.
LIVE UPDATES: 10:23 PM: Precincts reported 74.9%: Varilek 73.1% (17,109 votes), Barth 26.9% (6,291 votes).
10:09 PM. Precincts reported 67.9%: Varilek 73.3% (15,406 votes) is the projected winner versus Barth's 26.7% (5,601 votes).
9:47 PM: Precincts reported: 55.4%. Varilek 74.0% (13,207 votes) versus Barth's 26.0% (4,639 votes).
9:33 PM: 40% is in and Varilek holds 74.5% (10,067 votes) against Barth's 25.5% (3,653). No winner has been projected yet.
9:22 PM: Varilek 74.5% (6,772 votes) versus Barth 25.5% (2,317 votes) with 29.3% of the votes in.
9:09 PM: With 14% of precincts reported Varilek holds 76.9% (3,077 votes) versus Barth's 23.1% (926 votes).
8:32 PM: South Dakota Right To Life’s voter ratings have played a big role in Republican primaries this year, with incumbents with poor grades (Tom Nelson, Deb Peters) slammed for them in direct mail.
Now the group has given an annual award to a Rapid City woman who’s trying to unseat Sen. Craig Tieszen in a Republican primary.
Stacey Wollman was given the “Humanitarian of the Year” award for “dedication to pro-life work.”
This schism in the Republican Party that this primary season has evidenced runs pretty deep. It’ll be interesting to watch how — and if — it heals after Tuesday.
7:51 p.m. South Dakota Secretary of State Jason Gant says his office has revamped the state's vote reporting website for Tuesday's primary election. Gant, the state's chief election officer, says the website features a new layout that lets people more easily track the races that are most important to them. He says the site will allow people to designate specific races they can track as votes are counted throughout the evening. The vote count will be displayed on the website beginning at 8 p.m. CDT after polls close in western South Dakota. The election results can be seen HERE.
5:30 p.m. After a mostly quiet primary campaign, Montanans on Tuesday will choose their matchups for a November general election that promises to be anything but sleepy.
Voters in the Democratic and Republican primaries will choose their nominees in an election where the voter turnout is expected to be good but not great.
“The primary is traditionally lower than the general,” said Secretary of State Linda McCulloch, the state’s top election official. “I think there will be a good turnout. A record number of absentee ballots were sent out.”
As of Saturday, 58.3% of the 188,089 absentee ballots sent out for this primary had been returned to county election offices. Voters still have until Tuesday to do so.
Through the past two complete primary cycles, voters returned 73.4% of absentee ballots in 2010 and 88.3% in 2008. The number of Montanans voting absentee has surged since 2008.
For a live update of Mitt Romney and Ron Paul's performance in South Dakota, see here.