Two down, one to go: Secretary of State Shantel Krebs announced today that Aaron Lorenzen and Craig S. Olson did not identify enough bogus signatures to overturn the good, honest petition that places Initiated Measure 21, the good, honest 36% rate cap, on this year’s ballot.
As I predicted back in January when I reviewed Lorenzen and Olson’s specious challenge, only a minority of the signatures they tried to disqualify were actually invalid. The press release from Secretary Krebs does not specify which parts of the challenge failed, but she does say that 2,770 of the 7,248 specific signature lines challenged turned out to be invalid. That’s not enough to throw out the real 36% rate cap petition, which by Secretary Krebs’s original calculation had 3,351 valid signatures beyond the 13,871 requirement.
Note that Lorenzen, who worked in the Secretary of State’s office and thus should be a petition expert, and Olson, who was paid by the payday lending industry to circulate its decoy petition for Amendment Usury and who may thus have remained on Lisa Furlong/Rod Aycox’s payroll to throw this further spaghetti at the IM 21 petition, produced only a 38% invalidation rate out of all the signatures they claimed were bogus. My team, which got no funding from any ballot question committee or corporation, produced a 73% success rate in invalidating signatures. Seriously, fellas, when you want a petition job done right, you’ll get more bang for your buck if you call me.
Here’s the full press release from the Secretary’s office:
Today, Secretary of State Shantel Krebs announced that the challenge submitted for the Initiated Measure To Set A Maximum Finance Charge for Certain Licensed Money Lenders (36% rate cap) was unsuccessful.
The Initiated Measure To Set A Maximum Finance Charge for Certain Licensed Money Lenders (36% rate cap) was originally validated December 28th and certified to be on the November 2016 general election ballot as a ballot measure the citizens will vote on. The sponsor turned in 19,936 signatures to the Secretary of state’s office. An Initiated Measure requires 13,871 signatures from South Dakota registered voters. Once the signed petitions were delivered to the Secretary of State’s office, a 5% random sampling was conducted in accordance with 2-1-16. It was determined that 86.4% or 17,222 of 19,936 signatures were in good standing.
The petition challenge was submitted by Aaron Lorenzen and Craig Olson. The challenger submitted specific deficiencies on 7,248 signature lines to the Secretary of State’s office. The review concluded that 2,770 of the challenged signatures were invalid.
This will be Initiated Measure 21.
An individual wishing to challenge the validity of the petitions can proceed to circuit court.
2-1-18. Court challenge of validity of signatures. Nothing in §§ 2-1-15 to 2-1-18, inclusive, prohibits any person from challenging in circuit court the validity of signatures or other information required on a petition by statute or administrative rule [South Dakota Secretary of State’s Office, press release, 2016.05.24].
Don’t be surprised if the payday lenders throw some money at some lawyers to drag this petition challenge to court to drain resources from the IM 21 campaign.
Plus, stay tuned for Secretary Krebs’s verdict on the final petition challenge on her desk, actually a challenge of her rejection of the medical marijuana petition. Secretary Krebs has said she’ll clear that task by the end of the month.