A large number of “RV voters” who call South Dakota home, but have no permanent roots to the state turned out in big numbers for the Nov. 2 general election, according to an Associated Press report.
In Minnehaha County, 2000 people who claim South Dakota as their residence for tax breaks and other financial benefits cast ballots, said Sue Roust, the county auditor. That compares with 800 in 2002, said Roust.
“I think that is extremely high. It is an interesting phenomenon,” she said, noting the majority of the voters are full-time RVers.
Roust said many of those who registered said they wanted to vote for president. But a check of the precincts shows RV voters also cast ballots on most issues and races, including the sales tax initiative, state legislative and other statewide races.
“We encourage them to vote in the state where they live,” said Roust. “And they say, `You are taking away my right to vote?”
By claiming residency in South Dakota, RV owners pay no income tax, have no residency requirement, and pay low vehicle licensing fees and insurance rates, said Roust.
Minnehaha and Hanson counties are among the most attractive to RV residents because they have mail-forwarding businesses that promote services to RV owners, she said.