Brookings friends! Are you looking for a chance to sign the petitions to refer SB 69 and SB 177 to a public vote? Tuesday—tomorrow!—is your day! Circulators will have petitions near the three polling places for tomorrow’s Brookings city election.
Now notice: those circulators won’t be too near the polling places. As we all know, SDCL 12-18-3 says any petitioners or other politically communicative individuals need to stand at least 100 feet from the door to any polling place. Our Brookings circulators are keenly aware and respectful of state law and the sanctity of the vote… which is why they are circulating and you are signing these petitions in the first place.
So make it a democracy twofer: go vote in the Brookings city election (Patty Bacon and Scott Meyer sound like good choices to me!), then walk down the sidewalk (and it will be a beautiful day to walk!) and sign a couple petitions to give yourself a chance to vote on more issues in November 2016!
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In other referendum news, KELO’s Ben Dunsmoor finally gets his head around one of the two referendum drives, the effort to put SB 177, the youth minimum wage, to a public vote. He gets SB 177 prime sponsor Senator David Novstrup (R-3/Aberdeen) to repeat the absurdity that, in South Dakota, giving kids more opportunity means giving them less money for their work. He gets SD Dems interim exec Zach Nistler to remind us that voters knew what they were doing when they voted last November to set the minimum wage at $8.50 an hour for every worker, young people included, and that Senator Novstrup’s legislation is really “a slap in the face to South Dakotans.”
But Dunsmoor commits one language error:
And that’s why circulators will be stopping voters once again for the next two months [Ben Dunsmoor, “A Petition Effort for Equal Pay,” KELOLand.com, 2015.04.12].
Ben, Ben, Ben—”stopping” voters? Your limited literalism misses the bigger point. On both SB 177 and SB 69 (and hey, we’re still waiting for your detailed report on that second petition drive, Ben!), legislators are trying to stop voters from exercising their will. With SB 177, legislators like Senator Novstrup are trying to discourage voters from conducting ballot initiatives. With SB 69, legislators are raising barriers to running for office and thus trying to prevent voters from having more choices of candidates on their ballots. We petitioners in Brookings, Sioux Falls, and across the state aren’t stopping voters; we’re helping them go to the polls and enjoy more choice and more voice.