I plan to refer House Bill 1094 to a public vote. HB 1094 is Rep. Jon Hansen’s unconstitutional plan to force ballot question petitioners to get permission from the state to exercise their First Amendment rights and wear badges or go to jail. Never letting the Constitution get in her way, Governor Kristi Noem signed HB 1094 Thursday.
I submitted drafts of the necessary referendum petition, affidavit, and circulator form to the Secretary of State’s office when I rolled out of bed this morning. Four minutes later, at 6:11 a.m. CDT, SOS Barnett’s elections director Kea Warne e-mailed back, “We are in receipt of your email. We will review your documents and get back to you.”
I can’t guarantee and would certainly would not expect any state employees to be in the Capitol at 6:11 a.m. But Kea Warne is on the job this morning. For all of the problems South Dakota may face, for all of the shredding of liberty and democracy our elected Republican leaders are perpetrating, the management of petitions and elections appears to be in reliable hands.
Stay tuned for updates on the progress of the paperwork; if all goes well, we will be able to start circulating the petition to refer HB 1094 on Friday after the Legislature adjourns from Veto Day.