Maybe newspapers just see the chance to sell more ads during the primary season.
The Mitchell Daily Republic has company in endorsing Amendment V, the open non-partisan primary proposal. The Rapid City Journal wrote over the weekend that open non-partisan primaries may not change our Legislature, but they can increase participation in elections:
An open, nonpartisan primary will likely encourage more people to run for office, candidates to work harder for votes and, most importantly, greater turnout on election day. It also is unlikely to radically alter the makeup of the current Legislature. In Nebraska, which has had nonpartisan elections for years, the Legislature is 71 percent Republican. The amendment also doesn’t prohibit candidates from running as Republicans, Democrats or independents. Finally, it is important to note that city, county and school board elections are already nonpartisan in South Dakota.
The Journal editorial board recommends a “yes” vote on Amendment V [editorial, “Election Reform Can Boost Participation,” Rapid City Journal, 2016.10.16].
(Bonus endorsement: RCJ agrees with me that Amendment T is a good idea and Referred Law 19 is a bad idea!)
The Watertown Public Opinion weighed in this morning with its endorsement of Amendment V, saying independent voters deserve a crack at the primary:
…the best reason to support this amendment is that it en-franchises the fastest growing segment of voters in our state – independents who have rejected both major parties for various reasons. It seems to us this amendment allows a greater impact for those independent voters, and that has to be a good thing, right? [editorial, “Good and Bad of Election Changes,” Watertown Public Opinion, 2016.10.18]
(Alas, I’m not able to pull WPO along on Initiated Measure 22, the Anti-Corruption Act, as they buy the Koch Brothers’ decoy argument that we can’t afford $12 million every two years for public campaign financing. But yesterday, WPO joined this blog and the South Dakota Bar in declaring Amendment S, the purported “crime victims bill of rights” a “solution searching for a problem.”)