I have regularly recommended that South Dakota Democrats seek synergy with ballot measures. Discussing ballot questions gets us away from personal attacks. Given the opportunity to vote on policy, South Dakotans tend to vote Democratic; we just need to get South Dakotans to make the connection between good policy and good Democrats who will offer them more of that policy.
As I run for District 3 Senate, I’ve been handing out my ballot measure guide on every campaign card:
District 3 House candidate Brooks Briscoe is doing the same thing, focusing on seven of the ten measures he finds most important:
District 17 House candidate Mark Winegar offers his constituents a bit more detail on each measure:
District 11 candidates Tom Cool, Paul Schipper, and Leona Wieland are collaborating on a voter information pamphlet with the titles and Attorney General’s explanations for each measure, plus a handy checklist for voters to take with them to the polls:
As the District 11 Democratic flyer shows, ballot measure synergy doesn’t come just from persuading voters to pick the Yea or Nay that we Democrats want on each initiative and referendum (and while Brooks, Mark, and I line up pretty well, there is no Democratic unity on all ten measures). We Democrats perform a public service by informing voters on the ballot measures and helping them find additional resources. We remind voters that we are the party that listens to what they have to say at the polls. We Democrats say to voters, “Read more, learn more, and come vote,” with confidence that the more people learn and the more they vote, the better our democracy will be.
And when we remind voters that we Democrats are the party of democracy, the party that believes in voters, we’ll see more voters believing in us.
By the way, I don’t see any information about ballot measures on the websites of District 3 candidates Rep. Dan Kaiser, Rep. Al Novstrup, or Drew Dennert. Novstrup’s campaign handout mostly copies his somewhat inaccurate website. I’ll keep an eye out for other campaign literature to see if our Republican neighbors offer voters guidance on the ballot measures.