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12-26 OFFENSES AGAINST THE ELECTIVE FRANCHISE
CHAPTER 12-26

OFFENSES AGAINST THE ELECTIVE FRANCHISE

12-26-1      Elections to which chapter applies.
12-26-2      Repealed.
12-26-3      False representation to procure registration or acceptance of vote as misdemeanor--Failure to deny false statement as misrepresentation.
12-26-4      Voting or offer to vote by unqualified person as misdemeanor.
12-26-5      Repealed.
12-26-6      Repealed.
12-26-7      Impersonation of registered voter as felony.
12-26-8      Voting more than once at any election as felony.
12-26-9      Good faith defense to prosecution for illegal voting.
12-26-10      Threats or intimidation to prevent public assembly of electors as misdemeanor--Hindering attendance at meeting.
12-26-11      Disturbance of public meeting of voters as misdemeanor.
12-26-12      Persecution, threats, or intimidation to influence vote as misdemeanor--Obstruction of voter on way to polls.
12-26-13      Unlawful influence of employees' political activities or voting as misdemeanor--Forfeiture of corporate charter.
12-26-14      Use of public relief, loans, or grants to influence political activity or vote as misdemeanor.
12-26-15      Bribery of voter as misdemeanor--Acts constituting bribery.
12-26-16      Acceptance of bribe by voter as misdemeanor--Acts constituting acceptance of bribe.
12-26-17      Bribery or acceptance of bribe as infamous crime--Forfeiture of office.
12-26-18      Repealed.
12-26-19      Betting with intent to procure challenge as misdemeanor.
12-26-20      Repealed.
12-26-21      Disobedience of precinct superintendent or precinct deputy as misdemeanor.
12-26-22      Disturbance of election proceedings as misdemeanor.
12-26-23      Tampering with ballots, ballot box, or poll list as felony.
12-26-23.1      Tampering with automatic ballot counting devices, direct recording electronic voting machines, and electronic ballot marking systems as felony.
12-26-24      Exclusion by precinct superintendent or precinct deputy of lawful vote as misdemeanor.
12-26-25      False count or return by election official as misdemeanor--Defacement or concealment of statement or certificate.
12-26-26      Repealed.
12-26-27      Bribery of election official as misdemeanor.
12-26-28      Offenses relating to election on submitted question.
12-26-29      Prevention of unlawful election not prohibited.
12-26-30      Irregularities in proceedings not a defense.
12-26-31      Offender as witness against another--Compelling testimony--Immunity from prosecution.


12-26-1Elections to which chapter applies.

The word "election" as used in this chapter includes any election held in this state for the purpose of enabling the voters to nominate or elect any United States, state, or local officer, or to vote upon any question submitted to them.

Source: PenC 1877, § 90; CL 1887, § 6290; RPenC 1903, § 95; RC 1919, § 3679; SDC 1939, § 13.0901; SL 1974, ch 118, § 197.


12-26-2
     12-26-2.   Repealed by SL 1974, ch 118, § 200.


12-26-3False representation to procure registration or acceptance of vote as misdemeanor--Failure to deny false statement as misrepresentation.

Any person who, at the time of requesting his name to be registered as a voter, or who at the time of offering his vote at any election, knowingly makes any false statement or employs any false representation to procure his name to be registered or his vote to be received, is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. A false statement or representation made or used in the presence and to the knowledge of a person requesting his name to be registered, or offering his vote, is to be deemed made by himself if it appears that it was made or used in support of his claim to be registered or to vote, that he knew it to be false and that he allowed it to pass uncontradicted.

Source: PenC 1877, §§ 72, 73; CL 1887, §§ 6272, 6273; RPenC 1903, §§ 77, 78; RC 1919, §§ 3664, 3665; SDC 1939, § 13.0907; SL 1982, ch 86, § 111.


12-26-4Voting or offer to vote by unqualified person as misdemeanor.

Any person knowing himself not to be a qualified voter who votes or offers to vote at any election is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: PenC 1877, § 65; CL 1887, § 6264; RPenC 1903, § 69; RC 1919, § 3658; SDC 1939, § 13.0908; SL 1982, ch 86, § 112.


12-26-5
     12-26-5.   Repealed by SL 1982, ch 86, § 113.


12-26-6
     12-26-6.   Repealed by SL 1974, ch 118, § 200.


12-26-7Impersonation of registered voter as felony.

A person who impersonates a registered voter and, as such, offers to vote at any election, is guilty of a Class 5 felony.

Source: PenC 1877, § 71; CL 1887, § 6271; RPolC 1903, § 2034; RPenC 1903, § 76; RC 1919, § 3663; SDC 1939, § 13.0906; SL 1973, ch 79, § 2; SL 1982, ch 86, § 114.


12-26-8Voting more than once at any election as felony.

A person who votes more than once at any election or who offers to vote after having once voted, either in the same or in another election precinct in South Dakota or elsewhere, is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

Source: PenC 1877, § 64; CL 1887, § 6263; RPenC 1903, § 68; RC 1919, § 3657; SDC 1939, § 13.0911; SL 1982, ch 86, § 115; SL 2004, ch 105, § 2.


12-26-9Good faith defense to prosecution for illegal voting.

Upon any prosecution for procuring, offering, or casting an illegal vote, the accused may give in evidence any facts tending to show that he honestly believed upon good reason that the vote complained of was a lawful one; and the jury may take such facts into consideration in determining whether the acts complained of were knowingly done or not.

Source: PenC 1877, § 94; CL 1887, § 6294; RPenC 1903, § 99; RC 1919, § 3683; SDC 1939, § 13.0912.


12-26-10Threats or intimidation to prevent public assembly of electors as misdemeanor--Hindering attendance at meeting.

A person who by threats, intimidation, or unlawful force or violence, intentionally hinders or prevents voters from assembling in a public meeting for considering of public questions, or who hinders or prevents any individual voter from attending any such meeting, is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: PenC 1877, §§ 75, 76; CL 1887, §§ 6275, 6276; RPenC 1903, §§ 80, 81; RC 1919, §§ 3667, 3668; SDC 1939, § 13.0915; SL 1982, ch 86, § 116.


12-26-11Disturbance of public meeting of voters as misdemeanor.

A person who intentionally disturbs or breaks up any public meeting of voters lawfully being held for the purpose of considering public questions is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: PenC 1877, § 74; CL 1887, § 6274; RPenC 1903, § 79; RC 1919, § 3666; SDC 1939, § 13.0916; SL 1982, ch 86, § 117.


12-26-12Persecution, threats, or intimidation to influence vote as misdemeanor--Obstruction of voter on way to polls.

A person who directly or indirectly, intentionally, by force or violence, or by unlawful arrest, or by any abduction, duress, damage, harm, or loss, or by any forcible or fraudulent contrivance, or by threats to do or employ any of them, or by threats of bringing civil suit or criminal prosecution, withdrawal of customs or dealing in business or trade, or enforcing payment of debts, or by any kind of injury or threat of injury inflicted or to be inflicted on any voter or person to influence any voter, and attempted, done, or threatened, or caused to be attempted, done, or threatened by any person in his own behalf or in behalf of any other person or question voted upon or to be voted upon at any election, for the purpose of preventing, causing, or intimidating a voter to vote or refrain from voting for or against any person or question, or who does or causes to be done any of such things because of a voter having voted or refrained from voting on any such matter, or who intentionally and without lawful authority obstructs, hinders, or delays a voter on his way to any poll where an election is to be held, is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: PenC 1877, §§ 63, 77, 78; CL 1887, §§ 6262, 6277, 6278; SL 1891, ch 58, §§ 4, 7; RPenC 1903, §§ 61, 64, 67, 82, 83; RC 1919, §§ 3652, 3655, 3656, 3669, 3670; SDC 1939, § 13.0913; SL 1982, ch 86, § 118.


12-26-13Unlawful influence of employees' political activities or voting as misdemeanor--Forfeiture of corporate charter.

It is a Class 2 misdemeanor for any employer in paying his employees the salary or wages due them, to enclose their pay in "pay envelopes" upon which there is written or printed any political mottoes, devices, or arguments containing threats, express or implied, intended or calculated to influence the political opinions or actions of such employees.

It is a Class 2 misdemeanor for any employer, within ninety days of a general election, to put up or otherwise exhibit in his factory, mill, workshop, or other establishment or place where his employees may be working, any handbill or placard containing any threat, notice, or information that in case any particular tickets or candidate shall be elected, work in his place or establishment will cease in whole or in part, or that his establishment will be closed, or the wages of his workmen will be reduced, or other threats, express or implied, intended or calculated to influence the political opinion or the actions of his employees in voting.

Any corporation violating this section shall, upon proof thereof, forfeit its charter.

Source: SL 1891, ch 58, § 5; RPenC 1903, § 62; RC 1919, § 3653; SDC 1939, § 13.0914; SL 1982, ch 86, § 119.


12-26-14Use of public relief, loans, or grants to influence political activity or vote as misdemeanor.

It is a Class 1 misdemeanor for any person, directly or indirectly, to promise or threaten to grant or withhold or to cause to be granted or withheld, any public relief, assistance loans, or grants for the purpose or with the intention of controlling or influencing the political affiliations, party registration, support or vote at any election, of any person so promised or threatened.

The terms "public relief" and "assistance" include all forms of direct public relief and also all forms of indirect relief such as employment on any public works or project. The terms "loans" and "grants" include all forms of financial assistance granted by the federal government or any of its agencies and also by this state or any of its political subdivisions.

Source: SL 1939, ch 240, §§ 1, 2, 4; SDC Supp 1960, § 13.0930; SL 1982, ch 86, § 120.


12-26-15Bribery of voter as misdemeanor--Acts constituting bribery.

It is a Class 2 misdemeanor for any person, directly or indirectly, by the person or through any other person:

(1)    To pay, lend, contribute, or offer or promise to pay, lend, or contribute, any money or other valuable consideration, to or for any voter or to or for any other person, to induce the voter to vote or refrain from voting at any election or to induce any voter to vote or refrain from voting at any election for any particular person or to induce the voter to go to the polls or remain away from the polls at any election, or on account of the voter having voted, refrained from voting or having voted or refrained from voting for any particular person, or having gone to the polls or remained away from the polls at any election;

(2)    To give, offer, or promise any office, place, or employment, or to promise to procure or endeavor to procure any office, place, or employment to or for any voter, or to or for any other person in order to induce the voter to vote or refrain from voting at any election for any particular person;

(3)    To make any gift, loan, or promise, offer, procurement, or agreement as aforesaid to, for, or with any person in order to induce the person to procure or endeavor to procure the election of any person, or the vote of any voter at any election;

(4)    To procure or engage, promise, or endeavor to procure, in consequence of any gift, loan, offer, promise, procurement, or agreement, the election of any person or the vote of any voter at any election;

(5)    To advance or pay, or cause to be paid, any money or other valuable thing to or for the use of any other person, with the intent that the same or any part thereof shall be used in bribery at any election, or to knowingly pay or cause to be paid any money or other valuable thing to any person in discharge or repayment of any money wholly or in part expended in bribery at any election;

(6)    To pay, lend, contribute, or offer or promise to pay, lend, or contribute, any money or other valuable consideration, to or for any voter or to or for any other person, to sign any nominating, referendum, initiated measure, or initiated constitutional amendment petition;

(7)    To give, offer, or promise any office, place, or employment, or to promise to procure or endeavor to procure any office, place, or employment to or for any voter, or to or for any other person in order to sign any nominating, referendum, initiated measure, or initiated constitutional amendment petition; or

(8)    To make any gift, loan, or promise, offer, procurement, or agreement as aforesaid to, for, or with any person in order to sign any nominating, referendum, initiated measure, or initiated constitutional amendment petition.

Source: SL 1891, ch 58, § 1; RPenC 1903, § 56; RC 1919, § 3648; SDC 1939, § 13.0920; SL 1982, ch 86, § 121; SL 2013, ch 63, § 4.


12-26-16Acceptance of bribe by voter as misdemeanor--Acts constituting acceptance of bribe.

It is a Class 2 misdemeanor for any person, directly or indirectly, by himself or through any other person:

(1)    To receive, agree, or contract for, before or during any election, any money, gift, loan, or other valuable consideration, offer, place, or employment for himself or any other person, for voting or agreeing to vote, or for going or agreeing to go to the polls, or for remaining away or agreeing to remain away from the polls at any such election;

(2)    To receive any money or other valuable thing during or after an election, for himself or any other person for having voted or refrained from voting at such election, or on account of himself or any other person having voted or refrained from voting for any particular person at such election, or on account of himself or any other person having gone to the polls or remained away from the polls at such election, or on account of having induced any other person to vote or refrain from voting, for any particular person at such election.

Source: SL 1891, ch 58, § 2; RPenC 1903, § 57; RC 1919, § 3649; SDC 1939, § 13.0921; SL 1982, ch 86, § 122.


12-26-17Bribery or acceptance of bribe as infamous crime--Forfeiture of office.

Any person committing the offense of bribery of voters or receiving a bribe as specified in §§ 12-26-15 and 12-26-16 is guilty of an infamous crime, and any person convicted thereof shall, in addition to the criminal punishment, forfeit any office to which he may have been elected at the election at which such offense was committed.

Source: SL 1891, ch 58, § 7; RPenC 1903, § 64; RC 1919, § 3655; SDC 1939, § 13.0922; SL 1976, ch 105, § 75; SL 1982, ch 86, § 123.


12-26-18
     12-26-18.   Repealed by SL 1976, ch 105, § 84.


12-26-19Betting with intent to procure challenge as misdemeanor.

Any person who shall directly or indirectly make a bet with a voter depending upon the result of any election, with the intent thereby to procure the challenge of such voter or to prevent his voting at an election, is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: SL 1891, ch 58, § 3; RPenC 1903, § 58; RC 1919, § 3650; SDC 1939, § 13.0918; SL 1982, ch 86, § 124.


12-26-20
     12-26-20.   Repealed by SL 1976, ch 105, § 84.


12-26-21Disobedience of precinct superintendent or precinct deputy as misdemeanor.

A person who intentionally disobeys a lawful command of a precinct superintendent or precinct deputy of any election, given in the execution of the person's duty as such at an election, is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: SDC 1939, § 13.0923; SL 1982, ch 86, § 125; SL 1999, ch 69, § 49.


12-26-22Disturbance of election proceedings as misdemeanor.

No person may cause any disturbance or breach of the peace, or engage in disorderly conduct in violation of § 22-18-35, or use threats of violence, whereby an election is impeded or hindered, or whereby the lawful proceedings of the precinct superintendent or precinct deputies, ballot counters, or canvassers of an election, in the discharge of the person's duty, are interfered with. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: SDC 1939, § 13.0924; SL 1982, ch 86, § 126; SL 1993, ch 118, § 29; SL 1999, ch 69, § 50.


12-26-23Tampering with ballots, ballot box, or poll list as felony.

A person who intentionally breaks, destroys, steals, or conceals any ballot box or any poll list used or intended to be used at any election, or who, before the ballots have been counted or canvassed, or during the time within which a contest or recount may be instituted or is pending and undisposed of, shall intentionally deface, change, injure, destroy, steal, or conceal any ballot or ballots which have been voted and deposited in any ballot box at an election, is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

Source: PenC 1877, § 83; CL 1887, § 6283; RPenC 1903, § 88; RC 1919, § 3675; SL 1923, ch 179; SDC 1939, § 13.0925; SL 1982, ch 86, § 127.


12-26-23.1Tampering with automatic ballot counting devices, direct recording electronic voting machines, and electronic ballot marking systems as felony.

No person may intentionally program or alter an automatic ballot counting device, direct recording electronic voting machine, or electronic ballot marking system to erroneously mark, record, or count voted ballots or to render an erroneous total. A violation of this section is a Class 5 felony.

Source: SL 1989, ch 136; SL 2005, ch 92, § 10.


12-26-24Exclusion by precinct superintendent or precinct deputy of lawful vote as misdemeanor.

A precinct superintendent or precinct deputy who intentionally excludes any vote duly tendered, knowing that the person offering the same is lawfully entitled to vote at the election, is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: SDC 1939, § 13.0926; SL 1974, ch 118, § 198; SL 1982, ch 86, § 128; SL 1999, ch 69, § 51.


12-26-25False count or return by election official as misdemeanor--Defacement or concealment of statement or certificate.

No precinct superintendent, precinct deputy, member of any counting board, member of any board of canvassers, messenger, or other officer authorized to take part in or perform any duty in relation to any count, canvass, or official statement of the votes cast at any election, may intentionally make any false count or canvass of the votes, or make, sign, publish, or deliver any false return of the election, knowing it to be false. No such person may intentionally deface, destroy, or conceal any statement or certificate entrusted to the person's care. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: SDC 1939, § 13.0927; SL 1982, ch 86, § 129; SL 1993, ch 118, § 30; SL 1999, ch 69, § 52.


12-26-26
     12-26-26.   Repealed by SL 1974, ch 118, § 200.


12-26-27Bribery of election official as misdemeanor.

A person who gives or offers a bribe to any precinct superintendent, precinct deputy, canvasser, or other officer of an election as a consideration for doing or omitting to do any act in violation of the person's official duty in relation to such election, is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: SDC 1939, § 13.0929; SL 1982, ch 86, § 130; SL 1999, ch 69, § 53.


12-26-28Offenses relating to election on submitted question.

Every act which by the provisions of this chapter is made criminal when committed with reference to the election of a candidate is equally criminal when committed with reference to the determination of a question submitted to voters to be decided by votes cast at an election.

Source: PenC 1877, § 93; CL 1887, § 6293; RPenC 1903, § 98; RC 1919, § 3682; SDC 1939, § 13.0901.


12-26-29Prevention of unlawful election not prohibited.

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to authorize the punishment of any person who, by authority of law, may interfere to prevent or regulate an election which has been unlawfully noticed or convened, or is being, or is about to be, unlawfully conducted.

Source: PenC 1877, § 92; CL 1887, § 6292; RPenC 1903, § 97; RC 1919, § 3681; SDC 1939, § 13.0902.


12-26-30Irregularities in proceedings not a defense.

Irregularities or defects in the mode of noticing, convening, holding, or conducting an election authorized by law, form no defense to a prosecution for a violation of the provisions of this chapter.

Source: PenC 1877, § 91; CL 1887, § 6291; RPenC 1903, § 96; RC 1919, § 3680; SDC 1939, § 13.0903.


12-26-31Offender as witness against another--Compelling testimony--Immunity from prosecution.

A person offending against any provision of this title is a competent witness against another person so offending, and may be compelled to attend and testify upon any trial, hearing, proceeding, or investigation, in the same manner as any other person. But the testimony so given shall not be used in any prosecution or proceeding, civil or criminal, against the person so testifying, and he shall not thereafter be liable to prosecution or punishment for the offense with reference to which his testimony was given.

Source: SL 1891, ch 58, § 6; RPenC 1903, § 63; RC 1919, § 3654; SDC 1939, § 13.0904; SL 1939, ch 240, § 3; SDC Supp 1960, § 13.0930; SL 1974, ch 118, § 199.


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