More polling! Let’s hear what you, dear readers, think of Referred Law 19, the election/petition reform bill that I have labeled the Incumbent Protection Act. As I explained in yesterday’s post on the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce’s incomplete brief on the bill, Referred Law 19 makes a big basket of changes to the arcane technicalities of South Dakota’s candidate petition and election laws. Following are the key provisions:
- The nominating petition circulation period moves one month earlier, from January 1 through the last Tuesday of March to December 1 through the first Tuesday in March.
- Major-party candidates must gather more signatures to qualify for the ballot.
- Voters registered as members of recognized political parties lose their right to sign petitions for independent candidates.
- Parties can replace withdrawn candidates on the ballot only if candidates withdraw for legally authorized reasons.
- Petitions sent by registered mail by the petition deadline but not received until after the deadline will no longer be accepted.
A “YES” vote means you want these changes to take place. A “NO” vote means you reject these changes and want to keep petition and election law the way it is.
Attentive readers know there are plenty of reasons to oppose all of these increased barriers to the ballot. The best response the Republican authors of Referred Law 19 (originally 2015 Senate Bill 69) have been able to offer is that Republicans wrote it and passed it, so everyone should vote for it.
We’ll keep this poll open until breakfast time Wednesday, at which time we’ll talk about the results. Vote now, and bring your friends!