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Circulate Those Petitions! Let’s Beat Mickelson’s Nefarious (and Unconstitutional?) Paperwork

Keep Calm and Sign the PetitionS SDVoice
If you love democracy, you love petitions!

The SD Voice petition drives need you! We have six weeks to collect 25,000 signatures on the HB 1094 Referendum petition to stop the oppressive circulator registry and badge requirement along with the People Power Initiative to roll back other barriers to your right to put laws to a vote. If every Dakota Free Press reader (at least those of you who are South Dakota residents age 18 or older!) went out this weekend and collected 25 signatures on each petition, we’d be done and then some!

If you want to circulate, give me a shout, and I’ll get you going.

One of the bits of burdensome bureaucracy that I’m trying to repeal with the People Power Petition is the new circulator residency affidavit. Created by G. Mark Mickelson’s 2018 House Bill 1196, this affidavit requires circulators to submit, among other things, their current address and their last two addresses. Circulators have to submit duplicate information for each petition they circulate; people who carry both SD Voice’s referendum petition and initiative petition must provide the same information twice.

This requirement epitomizes the redundant paperwork Mickelson and the Legislature have used to nickel and dime the petition process to death. If the intent is to establish that petition circulators are South Dakota residents (a legal requirement that may be as unconstitutional as Mickelson’s judicially overturned effort to ban out-of-state contributors), circulators already swear to their residency and provide their current address on every petition sheet they submit. Past addresses have no bearing on one’s current voting residency. The state thus has no interest in demanding that circulators say where they lived prior to where they live right now.

The questions of past residence also raise a practical difficulty. Quick check: recite the address of the two places you lived before you moved to your current place. I can recall the townhouse we lived in for a few months when we moved to Aberdeen in 2015 before we bought our happy little house here on 1st Street, but I have to look up the address of the two places we lived in before that. One of my circulators mentioned that he’s lived in the same place for twenty years and doesn’t remember his previous address. That circulator and I are both South Dakota residents, and we’re going to swear to it on every petition sheet we submit. That the state would throw out petitions because we can’t fully recall information irrelevant to our current legal status as state residents unreasonably burdens the people’s right to sign and circulate petitions.

These legal and practical difficulties show that Mickelson’s interest was not in proving anyone’s residency; his interest was in killing the initiative and referendum process. Friends, neighbors, let’s keep thwarting Mickelson’s scheme. Grab a couple petitions, get signatures from your friends and neighbors, and let’s take our ballot rights back!


  1. Porter Lansing 2019-05-14 08:37

    This law (2018 HB 1196) should be repealed. It creates useless opportunities to nullify petitions aka the people’s best opportunity to govern themselves. Your address is your address. If you used to live in another state for a while, thanks for coming back to help Make SD Great Again. These requirements were common on health insurance policies before Obamacare nixed them. If you got cancer the insurance company could find some nit picky thing you stated incorrectly on your application and then could cancel your policy. Nice try G. Mick but Cory’s on the case, now.

  2. T. Camp 2019-05-14 09:12

    The entrenched and corrupt political class will take any means necessary to keep the people from messin’ with their government.
    The people have a Constitutional Right to petition government. No strings nor petit requirements should be attached to negate or weaken this right.

  3. Certain Inflatable Recreational Devices 2019-05-14 10:18

    This is a corollary to the old axiom: If voting achieved anything, it would be illegal.

    When petitioning for redress of grievances began to change things, they began to make it illegal.

  4. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-05-14 12:22

    CIRD, you get what they’re up to. If the Legislature were doing to Second Amendment rights what they are doing to First Amendment rights, South Dakotans would be up in arms. Let’s get up in pens and circulate these petitions!

    T. Camp, this is how we put our words about the corrupt political class into action. Sign up and collect some signatures on these petitions!

  5. Debbo 2019-05-14 14:29

    Thus far the Koch states’ GOP legislators’ efforts to shut the people out of government have been only marginally successful. The people have fought back successfully. It seems that party affiliation doesn’t affect a citizens ire at being shut down and out.

    I wonder if the Russians will get involved in I & R? From National Memo:

    “The piece of the Mueller report about Russian interference is not ‘case closed,’” Gates, a Republican who served as defense chief for both George W. Bush and Barack Obama, said Sunday on Face the Nation. “And, frankly, I think elected officials who depend on honest elections to get elected ought to place as a very high priority measures to protect the American electoral system against interference by foreigners.”

  6. Debbo 2019-05-14 14:33

    Cory, does this short URL work for you?

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-05-14 19:22

    Yes, it does! Thanks, Debbo! Curiously, the is also working for me now. Go figure!

  8. Certain Inflatable Recreational Devices 2019-05-14 22:52

    Every time I look at the grievances described in these petition sheets, I think, “Those sonsof[dog]s.”

    The most recent three or four legislative sessions, led by G. Marky Mickelson, have eviscerated the right to ask for a redress of grievances.

    G. Mark Mickelson spent a few years in the legislature and performed the legislative equivalent of being an insane bull in a china shop.

  9. grudznick 2019-05-14 23:15

    My good friend Bob is righter than right. Mr. Mickelson seemed to randomly lash about, busting up little glass bowls and pipes that some might call “art.” He bulled through obstacles and jammed his views down the legislatures collective maw. And we all clapped, and cheered. Or laughed, as the case may be.

    If only Bob, or the other Bill not my good friend Bill, would run for the legislatures in our collective district of 30 and oust some of these overgodders we are saddled with. Then, my friends, then, we would have a voice in the back room meetings where all of the decisions are made.

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