New Approach South Dakota, the group petitioning to place medical cannabis on the 2016 ballot, appears to have broken election law. The ballot question committee posted the following inducement to sign its initiative petition on its Facebook page on Saturday, August 8:
We have a volunteer in PIERRE today! Stop down at the Longbranch from 12-4!
Our volunteer is offering a free beverage to whoever comes down to sign! [New Approach South Dakota, Facebook post, 2015.08.08]
Dakota War College, which vigorously hews to the GOP party line in opposing any measure easing regulations on cannabis, correctly points to SDCL 12-26-15, specifically to provisions added in 2013 by House Bill 1018, that deem gifts or promises of gifts for signing ballot measure petitions a Class 2 misdemeanor. The Hughes County States Attorney need not track down the Pierre volunteer or Saturday signers and establish that any drinks were actually bought; the offer above constitutes bribery of voters under SDCL 12-26-15, clauses 6 and/or 8.
New Approach South Dakota plans to work the Brown County Fair on Thursday; I’ll see if I can chat with them and make sure they aren’t buying anyone funnel cakes.