Team Mickelson is two for two on initiative petitions! Yesterday Secretary of State Shantel Krebs certified House Speaker G. Mark Mickelson’s petition to put to a vote a tobacco tax to fund vo-tech tuition. The Sioux Falls Republican’s tax increase will appear on our November ballot as Initiated Measure 25.
Mickelson’s circulators did slightly better work on this petition than on his also-successful petition for Initiated Measure 24, the unconstitutional out-of-state money ban. Secretary Krebs sampled 707 of the 19,205 signatures she counted on this petition and determined that 82.88%—586—were valid. Mickelson’s error rate on the money-ban petition was 81.16%.
Team Mickelson collected 895 more signatures on the tobacco-tax petition than on the money-ban petition. Factor in the better validity rate, and IM 25 makes the ballot with a 1,053 more calculated-valid signatures than its little brother IM 24. By Krebs’s sample, IM 25 has 15,767 valid signatures, 13.67% more than the 13,871 required to qualify.
IM 25’s 17.12% circulator error rate is the best of the three measures certified so far for the 2018 ballot. IM 24’s error rate was 18.84%; Represent SD’s error rate on Amendment W, the resurrected IM 22, had an error rate of 28.63%.
Five petitions remain for the Secretary of State to review. Secretary Krebs will tackle them in the order submitted: open primary is next, followed by independent redistricting, voting at home, drug price caps, and Medical cannabis. If those five measures all manage the same error rates as Team Mickelson, all but medical cannabis will make the ballot. If we average Mickelson’s average error rate (17.98%) with Represent SD’s and apply that result (23.31%) to the remaining five petitions, independent redistricting would also fail. If the remaining five mess up as frequently as Amendment W’s circulators, open primary will join the failure list, and we’ll have only five initiated measures and amendments on our ballot.