Either my low-cost messaging is getting out, or the flaws of Referred Law 19 are simply obvious to any fair observer. The Watertown Public Opinion urges its readers to vote No on the Republican Legislature’s really bad idea for election reform. Lee Schoenbeck‘s daily paper can’t hit all the negatives, but WPO spotlights two of the complaints I’ve pressed against this proposal since it was just lowly Senate Bill 69 in 2015:
We’re not sure asking someone to circulate petitions in December in South Dakota is a legitimate move. When we are trying to get more people involved in politics and to run for office, asking them to decide in the midst of the holiday season and circulate petitions in the dead of winter is probably not helpful….
Another significant change prohibits Democrats and Republicans from signing petitions for independent candidates. Only registered independent voters could sign those petitions. Let’s not make it more difficult to get candidates to run [editorial, “Bad Change to Petition Process,” Watertown Public Opinion, 2016.10.20].
I am waiting to see anyone who doesn’t belong to the Republican caucus in Pierre endorse Referred Law 19. No one likes the idea of starting the election process before we turn the calendar to the election year, and no one but a few selfish party hacks likes the idea of taking away party members’ right to help independent candidates get on the ballot. Given the lack of natural, vocal allies, I’m willing to speculate that RL 19 may go down harder than any other 2016 ballot measure. Am I overly optimistic to suggest this measure’s No vote could surpass 80%?