Wednesday, July 5, 2017

SD Top-Two Primary Elections Initiative for 2018

The South Dakota Top-Two Primary Elections Initiative may appear on the Ballot in South Dakota as an Initiated Constitutional Amendment on November 6th, 2018.

The Measure would establish Top-Two Primary Elections for State Legislators, the Governor, U.S. Representatives, and U.S. Senators. The Measure would make the Primary Elections Open to all Registered Voters.

This Initiated was tried in 2016 and received 44.5%.

In South Dakota, Supporters must send Proposed Initiatives to the South Dakota Legislative Research Council (LRC) for Review. Proponents then send the Proposal to the Attorney General's office to have a Ballot Title and Summary Drafted. This information is forwarded to the Secretary of State. Supporters can start Signature Collection as Early as Two Years before the Targeted Election, and Signatures must be Submitted at least One Year before the targeted Election. Signature requirements in South Dakota are based on the Total Number of Votes Cast in the State's most Recent Gubernatorial Election. A Number of Signatures Equal to 5% of this Total is necessary for Qualifying Initiatives for the 2018 Ballot. Supporters will need to Collect and Submit at least 27,741 Valid Signatures by November 6th, 2017, in order to Qualify an Initiated Constitutional Amendment for the 2018 Ballot.

The LRC received the Proposed Initiative on May 15, 2017.

From the Proposal:

The Proposed Amendment provides for open primaries. lf approved by the voters, this amendment requires all party and independent candidates seeking the offices specified in the amendment to submit nomination petitions for the primary election. lf approved, this amendment also requires a number of provisions in state law and administrative rules to be amended, for example, the procedures and forms for nominating petitions and primary elections.

The candidates for President and Vice President and partisan positions for the county offices would remain on the primary and general election ballots. This may increase the costs of administering the primary election due to the increased number of ballot forms and styles required for each country.

It has been determined during this review that this proposed amendment to the constitution may have an impact on revenues, expenditures, or fiscal liability of the state or its agencies and subdivisions. A request for a fiscal note for your proposed amendment may be submitted to our office at the time you submit the amendment in final form to the Attorney General

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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