Saturday, November 18, 2017

SD Possible 2018 Ballot Initiatives

South Dakota Voter could have a these proposed Initiatives on 2018 Election Day.

Initiative groups hoping to go before Voters in 2018 faced a crucial Deadline, Nov. 6th, to turn in Signatures to the Secretary of State. Initiated measures need nearly 14,000 Valid Signatures, while Constitutional Amendments require almost 28,000 Valid Names.

Secretary of State Shantel Krebs’ Office conducts a Random Sampling of Signatures to determine Validity. Krebs said she hopes to review all submitted Measures and finish within Four months.

Here’s a look at some of the Initiatives Submitted to go before Voters:


House Speaker Mark Mickelson turned in slightly more than 18,000 Signatures for an Initiative that would Ban Out-of-State Political Contributions for Ballot questions. The move comes after Out-of-State Donors pumped over $10 Million into Campaigns for or against South Dakota questions during the 2016 Election Cycle. A similar Bill capping Out-of-State Contributions Failed in the Legislature this year, and Experts have said such Measures are unlikely to survive a Legal Challenge.


Supporters of a Constitutional Amendment that would take Control of Redistricting from South Dakota Legislators and give it to an Independent Commission turned in more than 34,000 Signatures. The Commission would consist of Nine People with no more than Three from any one Political Party. It mirrors a Constitutional Amendment that South Dakota Voters Rejected last year.


The Constitutional Amendment would move South Dakota to a Top-Two system for many Races. Supporters turned in more than 37,000 Signatures for the plan, which would have the Top-Two finishers in a Primary advance to the General Election regardless of Party. It would apply to Primaries for County Offices, Legislature, Governor, and U.S. House and Senate. The 2018 Push comes after a similar Amendment Failed at the Polls last year.


Supporters of a proposed Ballot Measure that would allow South Dakota Counties to switch to Elections conducted entirely by Mail Ballot handed over nearly 20,000 Signatures. Under the Proposal, Voting Yes, would Dispense with Polling Places, and require Primary, Special, and General Elections to be conducted via Mail Ballot.


Ahead of other Campaigns, Supporters of a proposed Government Ethics Constitutional Amendment last month turned in more than 50,000 Signatures for their Measure. The Amendment would tighten Campaign Finance and Lobbying Restrictions, create an Independent Ethics Commission, and require that Laws changing the Ballot Question process Pass a Public Vote, among other Provisions. The Proposal would Replace a Voter-imposed Ethics Overhaul that South Dakota Lawmakers Repealed this year.


A Proposed Measures approved for Circulation won’t appear on the Ballot: It would have made it Harder for the Legislature to Tamper with Voter Initiatives.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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richardwinger said...

There is no South Dakota initiative for an open primary. An open primary, defined in several US Supreme Court decisions and various political science textbooks, is one in which parties have their own primary ballots and their own nominees...but any voter is free to choose any party's primary ballot.

The South Dakota initiative is a top-two initiative. I think it is poor writing for this blog to misuse these terms. Michael Drucker is a sophisticated observer and he knows better.

mhdrucker said...

From the initiative - Under current law, candidates unaffiliated with a political party (independents) do not participate in the primary election. Rather, they appear on the general election ballot by filing proper nominating petitions.

For the above offices, this amendment establishes an open primary election for candidates, including independents. All registered voters may vote for any candidate. The two candidates with the most votes advance to the general election. For some offices, more than one candidate is to be elected at the general election. ln those instances, two candidates will advance to the general election for each position to be filled.

That sounds like an Open Primary to me.

richardwinger said...

No, it's not. Just because the people who write an initiative misuse a term, that doesn't give them the power to change the definition of a term that has been around for over a century. In California in 2004, the first time a top-two measure was on the ballot, the proponents called it an open primary. But a Superior Court in Sacramento ruled that the term was misleading, and ordered the words "open primary" taken off the ballot. In no other state in which a top-two measure has ever appeared on the ballot has the ballot ever referred to it as an "open primary." That is true for Washington, California, Oregon (twice), and Arizona.

mhdrucker said...

Got it. Fixed the post,

richardwinger said...

thank you very much.

mhdrucker said...

And I think Top-Two is too restrictive. I would like to see a system that uses a % of the vote, that could results in a Top-Three or Four. What % would you use?

richardwinger said...

I believe in one-round elections, using either ranked choice voting or proportional representation. I would never have two-round elections. So I can't bring myself to suggest a percentage. Even weak parties deserve to be heard in the general election campaign season. The first anti-slavery party in the US, the Liberty Party, only got one-half of 1% of the vote for president in 1840, but its campaign activities were essential to molding public opinion to think about getting rid of slavery entirely, rather than just confining slavery to the south.

mhdrucker said...

I like Louisiana's system with Ranked-Choice Voting. It would put all the Top-Two advocates out of business.