Pond Leads Green Push to Place Jill Stein Electors on South Dakota Ballot

Jay Pond is very Green... and peppery! (FB profile pic, July 2016)
Jay Pond is very Green… and peppery! (FB profile pic, July 2016)

Jay Pond ran for State House as Democrat in District 35 in 2012. Now he’s leading the charge to place Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein on the South Dakota ballot. Stein’s campaign website lists Pond as the statewide coordinator for the petition push to place three Stein electors—Pond, Chastity Jewett, and Costas Hercules, all of Rapid City—alongside the Trump and Clinton electors on our November ballot.

To make the ballot, Pond and his progressive friends have just eleven days—deadline is August 2—to collect 2,774 South Dakota voter signatures and submit them to the Secretary of State. Stein’s website lists 3,000 signatures as the target—that’s less than a 10% cushion! I’d shoot higher.

Interested circulators can access a PDF version of the Stein petition here. But you still can’t sign and submit electronically: you have to print that document, gather physical signatures, get a notary seal, and get that printed, signed, stamped piece of paper to Jay Pond so he can include it with all other sheets and his original in the box he’ll hand to Secretary Krebs a week from Tuesday.

I understand it’s a rush job, so there may be only enough time to do one thing, but I would think Greens would take this opportunity to double the fun and circulate a Green Party organizing petition alongside the Stein petition. Gaining official party status requires two and a half times as many signatures—6,936—as placing a Independent candidates on the statewide ballot, but snaring 3,000-plus signatures for a party petition at the same time as a candidate petition would be a good start, and organizers could easily gather the remaining 4,000 or so signatures while campaigning for Stein through the fall.

Independents may be inclined to sign for Stein. South Dakota Republicans may throw in, too, not to tilt the result, since no maps show South Dakota in doubt for Trump, but just to tweak us Democrats and keep Hillary/Bernie tension tight through the election.

As a down-ticket Democrat, though, I wonder: could putting Jill Stein on the ballot help down-ticket Dems? Are there a significant number of progressive voters who are planning to stay home rather than vote for Clinton, who would be brought out of their chairs by a chance to protest for Stein, and who would then look at the rest of the ballot and check the Dems for Senate, House, PUC, and Legislature who align with their progressive values?

9 Responses to Pond Leads Green Push to Place Jill Stein Electors on South Dakota Ballot

  1. Does signing such a petition in any way affect one’s registered voter/party status? I recall at the Bernie Sanders rally in Sioux Falls there was a Gary Johnson supporter getting such signatures for the Libertarians. I did not sign as I was unaware of any unintended consequences resulting from such a signing to my Democratic Party affiliation. Please enlighten.

  2. Leo, thank to our efforts to put Referred Law 19 on the ballot, any registered voter can still sign a petition for an Independent candidate. Likewise, any registered voter can sign a petition to help a new party organize. Signing either petition does not change your voter registration status. Your party affiliation officially changes only if you go to the county auditor and re-register.

    But note: if the Greens organize and gain official party status, then if they come around in 2018 with a Green candidate petition, you’ll need to register Green to sign.

  3. Robin Friday

    I’m greener than most, but unless you want the president’s initials to read DJT, I recommend VOTE BLUE!
    (and not only for president).

  4. vote green and dump blu n red as same old same old! dis is sick!

  5. Oh brother . . . “alongside the Trump and Clinton electors” . . . just like the main street media — how about them Gary Johnson electors as he’s on the ballot in all 50 states.

  6. Whoops! Forgot! But don’t they still have to officially nominate those electors at convention next weekend?

  7. That’s the way, Robin: just like Ted Cruz said, vote for principles all the way down the ticket. Just don’t vote for Ted Cruz’s principles!

  8. I like being non-partisan in South Dakota. I appreciate that South Dakota gives us the option of nominating people through ballot petition. More and more South Dakotans recognize that there is a lot of freedom being non-partisan. A lot of assumptions are dropped when one is not pushed into a D or R box. That gives room for people to have real discussions about issues important to them – issues more local, and not limited or defined by these corrupt party organizations.

  9. Jay! Make sure you tell all those downloaders to print that petition off as a two-sided page, front and back! If they print the front and back on separate sheets, the Secretary of State will throw them out!