Kids Voting South Dakota

Program Description

Kids Voting South Dakota (KVSD) is a comprehensive, K-12 curriculum-based program that prepares students to become educated, engaged citizens. In addition to teaching the importance of voting and the election process, students learn to be responsible decision-makers, a trait that carries over into adulthood. In fact, communities with a KVSD program show an eight to 15 percent higher adult voter turnout than those without it. 

Students learn about our democracy through hands-on, action-oriented classroom lessons along with community and family involvement. Activities may include at-home discussions, community projects and students voting at the polls with their parents. 

Our mission is to secure the future of democracy by preparing young people to be educated, engaged citizens. 

Currently we are very busy getting ready for the Nov. 4 General Election. Ballots have been mailed out to schools around the state, and teachers are preparing their students to vote as well. To learn more about KVSD, please call us at 605-341-4311 or email Tamara Heidinger-Larson, at


To educate K-12 youth about: 
• The importance of becoming an informed, engaged citizen.
• The role of voting in sustaining a democracy.
• Developing good citizenship skills such as decision-making, willingness to compromise, self-discipline, and being respectful of others. 
The South Dakota Secretary of State Shantel Krebs will visit your school and talk about being an engaged citizen. Click here to learn more and read her invitation.


""Nothing is more crucial to the growth and survival of our constitutional republic than an informed and engaged citizenry. The Chiesman Center for Democracy goes above and beyond through the Kids Voting program which provides our future generations with the hands-on opportunity to experience the election process.""
Secretary of State Shantel Krebs
South Daktoa

Who Makes this Happen

Kids Voting South Dakota Advisory Board

Jim Ragatz, Chair

Rob Timm, Treasurer

JoAnne Bohl, Secretary 

Sec. of State Shantel Krebs

Brenda Kleinjan

Rep. Dan Ahlers

Sandy Rhoden 

Sam Shaw (SD Education Dept. Rep.)

Tamara Heidinger-Larson, Director of Kids Voting SD (staff)


News & Events

Voting Center expansion in SD

Posted: July 02, 2014

Ballot Question Pamphlet Available

Posted: October 20, 2014

Kids Voting Final Election Results

Posted: November 04, 2014

Who are my legislators?

Posted: December 30, 2016

Open States app available

Posted: September 11, 2014