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UPDATED: School board election is Tuesday; over 1,000 have cast their votes early
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UPDATED: School board election is Tuesday; over 1,000 have cast their votes early

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Rapid City Area Schools

This story was updated to correct the number of early votes that had been cast through Monday.

Tuesday is Election Day for Rapid City Area Schools’ Board of Education race. There are four seats open in Areas 1, 2, 3, and 7, and 10 candidates running.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday in Rapid City, and election results will be listed on the South Dakota Secretary of State’s website. To find a polling location near you and a list of polling places, go to the Pennington County Elections web page. Polling places will feature social distancing and masks are encouraged but not required.

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Early voting concluded on Monday, and 1,546 people have already cast their vote. This is not typical for Board of Education elections; this is the first time the county has had a standalone school board election, and those races usually have a lower voter turnout than others, according to the Pennington County Auditor’s Office. In a typical election, there is usually around a 23% voter turnout, but the Auditor's Office said it didn't expect today's turnout to be that high.

In February 2020, Rapid City Area Schools held an election to decide whether the district would take out a bond to help pay for maintenance for some of the older facilities as well as construction of two new schools. For that election, 16,507 voters cast ballots, equaling 22.63% of total registered voters, and only 7,786 of those ballots were cast prior to Election Day.

The candidates for this cycle’s race are: Deb Baker and Natalie Slack in Area 1; incumbent and current Board President Curt Pochardt, Breanna Funke and Tatewin Means in Area 2; incumbent Kara Flynn and Gabe Doney in Area 3; and incumbent Kate Thomas, Megan Collier and Jennifer Read in Area 7.

The winners of Tuesday's election will be sworn in at the July 26 RCAS Board of Education meeting.

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