South Dakota voters get at least two initiatives to vote come November. After three weeks of counting and checking signatures, Secretary of State Steve Barnett announced this morning that South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws collected enough signatures to place their latest marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot as Initiated Measure 27.
- Signatures required: 16,961
- Signatures received: 31,587
- Random sample size required by ARSD 05:02:08:00.05: 717
- Validity rate of signatures in random sample: 79.22%
- Estimated number of valid signatures submitted: 25,023
- SDBML’s signatures to spare above minimum threshold: 47.53%
Secretary Barnett reminds us that IM 27’s place on the ballot isn’t final yet: Governor Kristi Noem, who took 2020’s Amendment A to court to prevent South Dakota’s first voter-approved marijuana legalization from taking effect, and anyone else who hates pot and democracy has 30 days, through June 27, to submit a formal challenge of the Secretary’s validation of this petition to the Secretary’s office. Under SDCL 2-1-17.1, such a challenge may only deal with signatures in the 2.27% of signatures the Secretary sampled, not the bulk of the petition, and it may only relate to whether those signers are registered voters and whether the sampled sheets are facially complete. Anyone who wants to challenge signatures not sampled or the truth of any information provided by the signers and circulators has to go to court (SDCL 2-1-18). There is no statutory deadline for taking a petition to court, but if you want to keep IM 27 off the ballot, you’d better file fast: the Secretary of State has to certify copies of all ballot questions to county auditors by August 16 and deliver printed ballots to all auditors by September 21.