In an unusual announcement for a ballot question committee, Represent South Dakota says that, as of August 12, it had collected 16,484 petition signatures, over 59% of the 27,741 signatures it needs to place a revised form of last year’s Initiated Measure 22 on the 2018 ballot as a constitutional amendment.
Usually ballot question committees keep signature counts mum, limiting public comment on totals to, “We’re getting lots, but we need more, so circulators, keep pushing!” Represent SD must be feeling pretty confident that voters and circulators will put their petition well over the signature threshold by November 6. In a press release, ballot question co-chair Mitch Richter says, “The repeal of Initiated Measure 22 has not been forgotten…. South Dakotans are eager to vote on this strong anti-corruption and voter protection measure.”
Remember, the South Dakota Voter Protection and Anti-Corruption Amendment would write many of the campaign finance limits, and lobbying rules that voters approved last year into the state constitution, where the Legislature would not be able to repeal them as they repealed Initiated Measure 22 last winter. The SDVPACA nullifies the State Government Accountability Board the Legislature offered to mollify enraged voters last winter and replaces it with the stronger state ethics commission IM22 would have created. The SDVPACA does not include “Democracy Credits,” the public campaign financing system we approved in IM22. The SDVPACA goes beyond IM22 in protecting the initiative process from Legislative interference by requiring changes to initiated laws or the requirements for placing measures on the ballot to be approved by public vote, locking the vote threshold for passing initiatives and referenda at simple majority, and enacting voter-approved measures 60 days after the election.
If those sound like reasonable changes to you, check out Represent SD’s list of petition-pickup and signing events around South Dakota.