Secretary of State Shantel Krebs has certified the first ballot measure of the 2018 season. Yesterday she promoted the Voter Protection and Anti-Corruption Amendment from “potential” to validated on the list of 2018 ballot measures.
We may call this measure IM 22 2.0, as it seeks to restore the 2016 anti-corruption law that our Republican Legislature hastily repealed, against the wishes of at least 51.62% of the 2016 electorate. The Secretary of State says we shall officially call it “Amendment W,” picking up where amendments left off in lettering in 2016.
The GOP spin blog quickly dubs it “W” for “Worthless“. Such denigration is to be expected from the elitist Republican machine that so disdains the will of the people. Perhaps that’s where we start with the branding: Amendment W for…
- “Will” of the people;
- “We” the People (that’s what I said back in November!);
- “We’re”… as in “This is a law Republicans stole from the people; we’re stealing it back!“
- “Watch” Republicans squeal;
- “What We Want”;
- “Weird”… as in, “Weird—didn’t we just vote on this? Oh, yeah, that’s right, those boneheads in Pierre didn’t listen to us, so we have to do it again! Grrr!”
Recall that IM 22 2.0/Amendment W restores the campaign finance and lobbying limits of IM 22, replaces the Legislature’s consolation-prize State Government Accountability Board with the long-sought ethics commission, and protects ballot questions from Legislative interference. Amendment W omits (wisely, said John Tsitrian) the public campaign financing—”Democracy Credits”—that was in IM 22.
Opponents of campaign finance reform, lobbying limits, ethics, and the rights of the people (i.e., South Dakota Republicans) have until January 29 to challenge Secretary Krebs’s certification of the petition. I would suggest that Dusty Johnson supporters should file a challenge, since that would occupy Secretary Krebs and keep her off the U.S. House campaign trail.
Amendment W was the first petition of eight submitted before the November 6 deadline; seven remain to be validated. Amendment W had by far the largest number of signatures, so perhaps we will see the remaining petitions processed in swifter order.
Update 14:10 CST: The Secretary of State’s office provides these numbers on the Amendment W petition:
- Total signatures submitted: 49,966
- Number of signatures in random sample: 723
- Number of valid signatures from sample: 516
- Percent valid: 71.37%
- Total number of valid signatures determined by random sample: 35,660
- Number of valid signatures required by law for Constitutional Amendments: 27,741
Represent South Dakota, the organization that circulated the Amendment W petition, had a 28.64% error rate in its signatures. That’s slightly higher than the error rate on the IM 22 petition in 2015 (26.13% by the Secretary’s count; 28.13% by the sponsors’ count). If all other circulators experienced that same 28.64% error rate, then only two other measures—voting by mail and the drug price cap—will qualify for the ballot, while five—Mickelson’s money ban, Mickelson’s tobacco tax, open primaries, independent redistricting, and medical marijuana—will all fail to make the ballot.