Hey, I think Rick Knobe’s with us on referring both SB 177 (the youth minimum wage) and SB 69 (the mutated petition reform bill). Knobe recognizes that SB 69 punishes South Dakotans for choosing to be Independents:
The law on ballot access (SB 69) started off as a solution to problems with verifying candidate petition signatures and time frames for getting that job done. The legislature modified the bill, so the essence of it denies reasonable access to the ballot for anyone who has the audacity to be an Independent.
There are over 100,000 people who have chosen not to affiliate with either the Republicans or Democrats. The punishment for that choice is banishment from the ballot.
…At a time when the public is clamoring for new ideas and voices, outside of the two party [strait-]jacket, limiting ballot access to those voices with new ideas runs counter to the participation our country purports to believe [Rick Knobe, “Two Bad South Dakota Laws May Go to a Public Vote,” KSOO, 2015.04.07].
Knobe is right on the net impact of Senate Bill 69. Legislation that was meant to protect the integrity of the ballot from petition fraud has been perverted to punishment to keep Independent voters from participating in democracy. As Knobe says, that skullduggery requires “a firm response” from all voters… which response right now looks like signing and circulating our referendum petition to stop Senate Bill 69.