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S-T-U-V, 19–24: Ten Citizen-Initiated Ballot Measures May Set South Dakota Record

Three more ballot measures made yesterday’s submission deadline in the Secretary of State’s office. I’ll write up each of these newly submitted measures today. For the moment, though, let’s look at the tentaitve roster of ballot measures.

If all pans out, the 2016 ballot will offer the following initiatives and referenda for our consideration:

Constitutional Amendments:

Referred and Initiated Measures (i.e., Laws):

That’s eleven ballot measures, ten of them originating with citizens. As I noted Saturday, that sets a record for citizen-initiated ballot measures, previously set by the nine citizen-initiated measures on the 2006 ballot. The record for ballot measures is fourteen on the 1916 ballot, but nine of those measures originated in the Legislature.

Don’t print your t-shirts yet; Secretary of State Shantel Krebs has not certified any of these petitions. If the 36% rate cap petition were thrown out (and believe you me, the payday lenders are ready to spend millions of dollars on lawyers to make that happen), the other initiated measures would shift up in number.

But going purely by signature count, the only measure submitted in the past week that looks close to possible rejection is last-comer medical marijuana, whose organizers say they collected 16,631 signatures (New Approach SD posted Monday morning that their count was 16,054, but their video from the Secretary’s office says 16,631). The signature requirement for initiated laws is 13,871. Last summer, my team submitted a nail-biting 16,715 signatures to turn the Incumbent Protection Plan into Referred Law 19. We made the ballot with only 308 signatures to spare. If the medical marijuana circulators managed the same 84.3% valid-signature rate as the Referred Law 19 drive, they’re even closer to the minimum:

Incumbent Protection Medical Marijuana
submitted 16,715 16,631
SOS calculated 16,819 16,734
SOS validated 14,179 14,108
Signature threshold 13,871 13,871
Signatures to spare 308 237

The Secretary of State should issue her okey-dokey or nopey-dopey to the above petitions by the end of December. Citizens may file challenges against initiative petitions with the Secretary of State for up to thirty days after the Secretary’s certification. Challenges in court may proceed into September 2016, by which time the Secretary will need to print and ship ballots to the counties.


  1. Steve Hickey 2015-11-10 10:17

    U for usury. Perfect.

    Vote YES on IM21 to cap the rate at 36%.

  2. Rorschach 2015-11-10 10:44

    no, yes, maybe, no, maybe, yes, no, no, maybe, yes, no.

    Not necessarily in that order.

  3. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-10 10:49

    If the election were today:

    R: no
    S: no
    T: YES
    U: NO!
    V: yes

    19: NO
    20: NO
    21: YES
    22: yes
    23: yes
    24: (no)

  4. Lynn 2015-11-10 10:53

    •Initiated Measure 24: Medical Marijuana: Skateboarders, Snowboarders, video gamers, late teens and 20 somethings 24/7 medical marijuana clinics that would write you a script for $25.00 and bring a friend coupon establishments would really appreciate if you vote yes on this.

  5. Melissa Mentele 2015-11-10 10:54

    We ended 16,631 after we got all the last minute petitions notarized & turned by our sponsors & West River group. Now we wait and pray. Hopefully once we make the ballot I can educate the residents of SD with good case studies & science that we can turn all the no’s on 24 to yes.

    Thank You for everything Cory and for being part of our journey this year.

  6. Lynn 2015-11-10 11:00


    Great timing! Who was the sponsor that was paying your circulators $25.00 an hour?

  7. Melissa Mentele 2015-11-10 11:07

    Maybe once you give an accurate description of the people that are involved with NASD then I will give you an answer to your numerous irrelevant questions. As you can see by our submission photo not one of our people is under 30….not one is a skate boarder, snow boarder or video gamer….looks to me like 2 Nurses, A former police officer, Grandmas, Business owners and advocates for the disabled community were standing strong yesterday.
    Until then you can just wait with bated breath for our campaign finance report.

    PS NASD had a rocking post submission party when we left the Capitol….pie and coffee at Perkins. Woot sounds like we are real party animals dying to hit the slopes and our xboxs…right?

  8. Lynn 2015-11-10 11:24

    Yeah photos of skateboarders, snow boarders video gamers and everyone else that will be able to get their weed in a softened legalized rec marijuana law the way this is written wouldn’t be so good for publicity or votes. lol

    Those poor video gamers probably have sore wrists from moving that mouse for hours and hours. The South Dakota Medical Marijuana Initiated Measure 24 will provide them their much needed relief.

  9. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-10 11:30

    That’s not a lot of signatures to spare, Melissa! Any chance you’ll share with us a breakdown of how many signatures your last-minute paid circulators brought in to put you over the top?

  10. larry kurtz 2015-11-10 12:22

    Deadwood was very fertile ground for signatures.

  11. Porter Lansing 2015-11-10 13:20

    Excellent job, South Dakota voters. Very proud of y’all. Here’s one for next your next cycle, Mr. Heidelberger. CO just got a “single payer healthcare” initiative on the ballot. (Residents will gain premium health care coverage for $5 billion less than they pay now. ColoradoCare would slash administrative costs of private insurance and negotiate bulk rates for pharmaceuticals. The coverage would extend to “anybody who earns income and lives in Colorado.”)
    My friend the professional petition gatherer (who would have no part of going to SoDak for the 16%’er, worked long and hard on this one. It paid a buck a signature.) PS … let see how many Free Press commenters with chronic “negativity bias” can try to piss on this one, right out of the gate?

  12. Porter Lansing 2015-11-10 13:29

    What mouse, Church Lady? You’re as ignorant about video games as you are about the effects of MMJ. Outstanding job, Ms. Mantele.

  13. Donald 2015-11-10 13:30

    (Amendment U = NO) >= (IM21 = YES)

    Cory, are you against raising the minimum wage for young people?

    Lynn, I’m in my 40’s and have been playing video games since I was young (35+ years). Video games inspired me to learn my first programming language; from there I earned a computer science degree and have a had satisfying career ever since. Just curious, what do you do for fun? Are your hobbies and activities any more important or legitimate than skateboarding, etc.?

  14. Porter Lansing 2015-11-10 13:41

    @Donald… Lynn’s a Saxon. They derive enjoyment by denying themselves enjoyment.

  15. Lynn 2015-11-10 13:48


    I’ll be in Mad City in the not too distant future and we can talk about the gaming community sometime and a few other unrelated subjects you have mentioned on this blog in other threads we share a common interest in.

  16. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-10 14:43

    Donald, I’m not against giving kids the same minimum wage as every other worker. Referred Law 20 is David Novstrup’s attempt to cut that minimum wage; voting NO keeps the minimum wage at the same rate for kids as for adults.

    I’ll maintain the equality of the importance of YES on 21 and NO on U. We must whack the payday lenders in the nose with both votes. We have to shoot down their hijacking of the initiative process and their deception by killing U, but we must also shut down their exploitation of our neighbors by passing 21.

  17. larry kurtz 2015-11-10 14:46

    Cory, Melissa has a great photo on her FB page with her crew with my friend Brad Morgan, who canvassed Deadwood.

  18. Donald 2015-11-10 14:58

    My apologies; I need to look this stuff up before lazily posting.

    My assumption was that the new minimum wage law was changed to deny the young folks the same rate after the voters approved the increase, and now this new law would restore the original intent (apply the same rate to everyone). I guess I never really thought about the difference between “referred law” and “initiated measure” until now.

    Thank you for the clarification.

  19. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-10 15:45

    No problem, Don! It’s an easy mistake to make… and one that we will have to work hard to fight during the campaign.

    That difference also complicates calculating what constitutes a “win” for voters on ballot measures. Voting NO on 19 and 20 while voting YES on 21, 22, and T all constitute “wins” for voters.

  20. Bob Newland 2015-11-10 16:45

    Four cheers for Melissa’s answer to the stupid lying bigoted cow, Lynn.

  21. mike from iowa 2015-11-10 16:56

    Which Donald exactly are we gonna kill? We get a choice? Or were you referring to petition U when you said to kill U?

  22. bearcreekbat 2015-11-10 17:27

    Lynn’s game is stigma and shame. She uses her comments as a sword in an effort to demean and hurt young people.

    But it is really kind of odd and misdirected to stereotype sick people who can be helped with marijuana as “Skateboarders, Snowboarders, video gamers, late teens and 20 somethings.”

    And even stranger yet, to suggest that “Skateboarders, Snowboarders, video gamers, late teens and 20 somethings” have somehow conspired to create a “fake”medical marijuana initiative, especially in light of Lynn’s frequent stereotyping of marijuana users as people who do not accomplish anything due to their addiction.

  23. mike from iowa 2015-11-10 18:18

    Former California misogynist guv Snoggenhogger was a frequent pot smoker while pumping iron and gulping steroids. Did pot make him assault women or was it the “roids”?

  24. Kris 2015-11-10 20:02

    melisa this so sick! me and my roomies are gonna sine up for medical after it gets voted in. I can smoke my medical cannabis anywere and anytime I want and tell the cops and haters to screw off!!!!!!! pepole dont know we are eveywere and will vote! STONERS RULE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. Kris 2015-11-10 20:05

    cory those 18% dudes liyed to me and my pops wen they jumped us at Target tellin us the 36% was a scam but they aint gonna fool us again!

  26. grudznick 2015-11-10 20:21

    Vote NO on all these goofy initiated laws and measures. That’s the best vote.

    NO signs will sprout like my good friend Lar’s mushrooms come this next election cycle.

    NO! the signs will shout at drivers by.

  27. leslie 2015-11-10 23:18

    vote no to life support for grudz until he gets his head out. maybe that would be too kind though!@ are u a hill sity slicker grud? 180,000 people signed these things u dolt. somebody has to take charge in this chickensheit state.

  28. grudznick 2015-11-10 23:26

    In Hill City, Ms. leslie, there is little tolerance for your sort of ignorance. Lar can tell you about Mr. Verchio and his heavy fistedness.

  29. leslie 2015-11-11 09:04


  30. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-11 13:19

    Grudz, Nays on everything gets me what I want on 6 out of 11 measures. But I’ll fight for your Yeas on T and 21, then V and 22.

  31. Lynn 2015-11-11 19:01

    Donald Pay,

    Depending on which online games you play it’s part of the culture. Same with snow board and skateboard culture. If you go to a ski & snowboard shop and I know they have a nice REI in Madison go over to the ski/snowboard jackets this time of year for example and look at the Burton brand and ask to see the “stash” pocket which is marketed to stash weed. I’m not saying everyone does as you personally have stated and I know my circle of friends and I have not but it’s definitely part of the culture.

  32. Spike 2015-11-11 22:49

    Hey Lynn,

    Obama bonged up..N he became PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

    Rainbow Unicorns my ass.

  33. Spike 2015-11-11 23:12

    Oh. I stand corrected. ..he was ELECTED Prez…..Twice…

  34. barry freed 2015-11-13 08:33

    (no) on 24

    SD’s “true liberal media” wants Vets with PTSD to commit suicide

    SD’s “true liberal media” wants babies suffering seizures to die on ineffective opiates

    You better hope, Cory, to never see a loved one waste away from cancer because they don’t feel well enough to eat and have no appetite as I did my Mom. To hell with you and your pious “we don’t need another intoxicant, people should suffer and or die because someone may enjoy the harmless medicine” bulls—.

    Now go back to your Koch Brothers’ website and get some more Reefer Madness lies to justify your fascist position. Tell it to that baby in Colorado who would now be dead if you had your way.

  35. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-13 08:49

    Oh, Barry, you exaggerate. I want no such outcomes. I await the South Dakota State Medical Association’s findings on the topic. If they find that medical marijuana can help vets and babies and moms with cancer and if they get behind this measure, I’ll change my mild no to a yes.

    But I tend not to take medical advice from the man on the street. And I will not invest political capital in this issue. Passing this measure is up to the doctors.

  36. Lynn 2015-11-13 08:52


    Oh stop the drama! Pot has been declined 3 times and I stress 3 times for the treatment for PTSD in Colorado of all places by their medical board. That’s all we need is another issue for our vets and others suffering from PTSD to face and that is addiction or it has no effect in helping them. There are other far more effective ways to deal with PTSD.

    This ballot measure is completely flawed and is essentially designed to tug at people’s hearts to legalize recreational weed. Lots of money will be made, more issues with addiction will arise and the true increase in social and medical costs will show when the voters realize they were lied to.

  37. Lynn 2015-11-13 08:55


    I do expect you to post a video interviewing Melissa a few times and heavily promote her efforts while at the same times stating.

    “But I tend not to take medical advice from the man on the street. And I will not invest political capital in this issue. Passing this measure is up to the doctors.”

  38. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-13 08:56

    (It’s going to be a long day.)

  39. larry kurtz 2015-11-13 08:57

    Cannabis is a personal choice regardless of its effectiveness as patient treatment.

  40. larry kurtz 2015-11-13 08:58

    If abortion is allowed for the health of the mother, cannabis should be an option for post-traumatic stress.

  41. larry kurtz 2015-11-13 09:00

    Cory’s parochial attitude is why SDDP fails to inspire.

  42. Spike 2015-11-15 14:04

    I’m happy n thankful we all agree on most of the initiatives.

    That last one is a corker as gramps would say.

    South dakota won’t pass any medical or recreational marijuana laws that supports any kind of use. Same voters that put Rounds in as Senator.

    I’m not that keen Cory on letting SDSMA decide for me.
    I’m more concerned about the reality of the needs of certain people to be able to make that choice with medical Marijuana.

    I know Sanjay Gupta is a TV show host, but that guy is smart, has done his research and reflects a pro medical use advocacy.

    As far as PTSD , there will always be medical experts with different views. All I know is if those ladies and gentlemen that went thru what they have, want to make an informed decision to try it, who the hell am I to decide for them?

    Family member, 3 tours in Vietnam as a Marine. Retired law enforcement. Former college instructor. One of the finest Americans I know. Agent Oranged. His immune system is messed up and as he has aged the drugs for his rheumatoid arthritis do funky things that the docs struggle to manage. This physical ailment is complicating as to if he has PTSD. PTSD can manifest itself in many ways.

    He would never try medical because it’s illegal, but if it was legal, doctors he knows would support his own decision, and he certainly would. The stuff out there is not the old baggie of oregano from the 70’s.

    I don’t consider that drama Lynn…..

    If Lynn says the initiative is intended to be a hidden stairwell to recreational use and that’s true than I will oppose the measure also. I’m going to educate myself on the initiative, but hell it’s already defeated.

  43. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-15 22:51

    Spike, it’s medicine. I’m not going to go conduct my own clinical trials. I look forward to SDSMA’s guidance.

  44. bearcreekbat 2015-11-16 17:30

    Lynn’s posts reflect a Hobbesian view of the people who live in SD and support the medical marijuana initiative. She sees people as an evil bunch who will do anything to destroy themselves and society, so they must be controlled with draconian laws that are unrelated to reality. She cares not that the laws have not stopped or reduced marijuana use, nor that those folks who get caught up in those laws are hurt.

    In her world view people supporting legalized medical marijuana are the scum of the earth who deserve to be stereotyped, ridiculed and jailed. Given that view of the nature of fellow human beings, her arguments are understandable.

    But Lynn has lost credibility long ago, as she seems willing to say just about anything to demean and stigmatize the supporters of the initiative.

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