This year’s General Election in Fall River County brought out voters of all ages, including 98-year-old Lois Putnam and her 18-year-old great-granddaughter Jada Rouillard, who was voting for her very first time. Both are from Oelrichs and registered their votes at the Oelrichs Precinct on Election Day, Nov. 3.
By Brett Nachtigall
HOT SPRINGS – Statewide and county-wide results in last week’s Nov. 3 General Election were very similar every race and ballot issue, and also once again proved the strong support for Republican candidates in South Dakota and Fall River County.
Overall, there were 4,075 ballots cast in Fall River County, which represents a 74.3 percent voter turnout. This number was just slightly higher than the statewide voter turnout of 73.88 percent.
For U.S. President, while it appears Democrat Joe Biden will earn the most electoral votes nationally, 71 percent of Fall River County voters supported Republican Donald Trump, compared to only 26 percent for Biden and 3 percent Libertarian Jo Jorgenson. Statewide, Trump’s support was slightly lower at 62 percent, compared to 36 percent for Biden, and again, 3 percent for Jorgenson.
The Fall River County precinct expressing the widest margin of victory for Trump was in the Oral area (Beatrice) with 89 percent (131 votes). The precinct showing the most support for Biden was Hot Springs’ Ward 3 where he received 35 percent of the vote.
For U.S. Senator, 75 percent of Fall River County voters supported Republican Mike Rounds with 25 percent voting for Democrat Dan Ahlers. Statewide, 66 percent were for Rounds and 34 percent for Ahlers.
For the U.S. House of Representatives seat, the percentages were identical when comparing Fall River County and South Dakota, with 81 percent supporting Republican Dusty Johnson compared to 19 percent for Randy “Uriah” Luallin, who is a Hot Springs resident.
For Public Utilities Commissioner, Republican Gary Hanson received 72 percent of the votes in Fall River County while Democrat Remi Bald Eagle received 22 percent and Libertarian Devin Saxon got 7 percent. Statewide, Hanson earned 68 percent, Bald Ealge 27 percent and Saxon 5 percent.
All three of the statewide ballot measures passed and received similar support statewide as they did in Fall River County.
Constitutional Amendment A, which legalizes, regulates and taxes marijuana and also requires the legislature to pass laws regarding hemp, as well as laws ensuring access to medicinal marijuana, passed 54 percent to 46 percent. In Fall River County, the measure passed 52 percent to 48 percent.
Constitutional Amendment B, which aurthorizes the legislature to allow sports wagering in Deadwood, passed statewide 58 percent to 42 percent. In Fall River County, it passed 57 to 43.
Initiated Measure 26 which legalizes marijuana for medical use, passed 70 percent to 30 percent. In Fall River County, in passed 64 to 36.
Fall River County voters also had a pair of District 30 State Legislative races on their ballots.
For District 30 Senator, Republican Julie Frye-Mueller won the nomination with 71 percent of the district-wide vote, compared to just 29 percent for Libertarian candidate Gideon Oakes. Fall River County supported Frye-Mueller 72 percent to 28 percent for Oakes.
For District 30 House of Representatives, Republican incumbent Tim Goodwin and Republican newcomer Trish Ladner were the only two on the ballot for two seats, so both made it in. Hower, Ladner, who resides in Hot Springs, earned slightly more district-wide votes than Goodwin, 51 percent to 49 percent.