The Green Party is circulating a petition to win official political party status in South Dakota. To place any candidates on South Dakota’s general election ballot in 2024, budding Greens must submit a petition with the signatures of at least 3,502 registered South Dakota voters to the Secretary of State by July 1, 2024. State law would then give the Greens the right to nominate Presidential electors, statewide candidates, and Congressional and Legislative candidates at convention by August 13, 2024.
Richard Winger of Ballot Access News reported last October that the Green Party had begun circulating its party petition and already had 1,000 signatures. The Green Party SD ballot access webpage and a GPSD FB post from last Wednesday claim that the Greens need 2,000 more signatures to qualify for party status, meaning that they have about 1,500 signatures in hand. Those figures suggest that in the last eleven months, the Greens have collected 500 signatures, or an average of 1.5 signatures per day.
The Green Party SD events webpage shows one signature push scheduled for the weekend of September 23–24 at “multiple spots throughout Rapid City.” Party petition signatures expire after one year, so if the Greens don’t submit before October 1, two thirds of the signatures they have right now will become worthless, and they’ll need to collect another 1,000 before next July. To ensure that a party petition drive doesn’t lost any signatures to the one-year expiration date, a party needs to collect an average of 10 signatures per day.
In a Thursday FB post, the Green Party South Dakota Ballot Access Committee criticized Governor Kristi Noem for alleging that drug cartels are using South Dakota’s Indian reservations as bases of operations to escape state jurisdiction and supply most of the illegal drugs in the Midwest. The GPSDBAC also criticized South Dakota Democrats for saying nothing about Noem’s statements:
To insinuate or hint that these sovereign Nations might be complicit in drug trafficking is a direct affront to them as members of tribal nations and as residents of South Dakota.
The two-party system must be dismantled to ensure that the voices of EVERY resident in South Dakota are not only heard but also accorded the respect they deserve. This is why we are pushing for full ballot access in South Dakota.
The era of Republicans and Democrats monopolizing our state has concluded. The moment has arrived to communicate to every politician that failing to uphold Tribal sovereignty is a breach of their oath to safeguard the US Constitution, which unequivocally declares in Article VI, Section 2 that “all treaties are the supreme law of the land.”
Respect tribal sovereignty or we will elect someone else! [South Dakota Green Party BAC, FB post, 2023.08.31]
The main fallacy in the Greens’ claim here is that Republicans and Democrats are monopolizing South Dakota. Republicans are monopolizing state politics; Democrats are failing to mount an effective opposition to that monopoly. Republicans have already dismantled the two-party system and imposed a generation of one-party rule; the field is open for any party—Democratic, Libertarian, No Labels, or Greens—to step into the gap and establish an effective second party.
As always, I welcome more parties to take the civic stage and fight for social justice in opposition to South Dakota’s oppressive one-party regime. But the Green Party needs to accelerate its signature drive and submit its petition soon to avoid wasting the hundreds of signatures it apparently collected last year in its quest for official party status.