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Resolve Everyone’s Petition Angst: Implement Online Petitions!

If you didn’t notice, I’m steamed over Minnehaha County’s banishment of petition circulators and other speakers from the busy space right in front of the county administration building in downtown Sioux Falls. Yes, yes, taking away 173 square feet of public space previously available for political speech is a lot better than anti-democracy auditor Leah Anderson’s attempt to ban such speech from 99.3% of the public space outside the county government complex. Yes, yes, ballot question committee Dakotans for Health won a victory by getting the county to back away from Anderson’s Big Sister plot to force speakers to check in with the auditor before engaging in political speech.

But dang it, the opponents of Dakotans for Health’s Roe v. Wade petition and of democracy in general have made progress in their objective: making it harder to circulate initiative petitions. Minnehaha County is taking away space that petitioners used for years without major trouble. The trouble that has arisen this year has mostly been provoked by petition opponents, who have nothing to lose and everything to gain by making a ruckus and discomfiting passersby. Opponents in Brown County have scored a similar victory, provoking enough conflict (and likening petitioners to Satanists and Communists) to give their Republican friends on the Brown County Commission an excuse to take away free-speech space from petitioners.

This slow, steady whittling away of petition space from government spaces is happening alongside a longer, broader trend of disappearing petition space. Foot traffic disappears from Main Street sidewalks as stores and restaurants move to strip mall islands surrounded by private parking lots and walkways from which the owners, whether actively anti-democracy or just skittish about having even a hint of political controversy or conflict (again, generally stoked by petition opponents, not the petitioners who take great pains to be polite and invite neighborly conversations and signatures) associated with their brands, generally banish petitioners. Coronavirus, gun violence, and increasingly unpredictable work schedules have made going door to door, once a sure way to interact with lots of fellow citizens, a less productive method of gathering petition signatures.

So fine, public officials, Republicans, anti-abortion crusaders, whoever—do you really want to get petitioners off the street and out of your way? Do you really want to end forever this business of your walk from your car to the courthouse or coffee shop being interrupted by some earnest citizen seeing signatures to call a public vote and by obstructive radicals shouting scripture over the circulator and warning you’ll go to Hell if you sign that petition?

Let’s make a deal. Adopt online petitions, and I’ll never bother you on a sidewalk with a petition again.

Here’s a simple scheme for securely collecting voter signatures on petitions online and eliminating the need for circulators to ever bother anyone who doesn’t want to sign any petition ever. The Secretary of State would manage this scheme:

  1. On the voter registration form, add a check box next to the e-mail address line, asking, “Do you want the Secretary of State to notify you by e-mail of opportunities to sign petitions for candidates and ballot questions?”
  2. Create a secure online petition for each statewide candidate, initiative, and referendum submitted to the Secretary of State for circulation.
  3. When the Secretary of State approves a petition for circulation, the Secretary sends an e-mail to every registered voter who has opted in to receive petition notifications. The e-mail tells the voters what the petition is (candidate or ballot question), how many signatures are needed, and when the petition is due. The e-mail also includes a hyperlink to the online petition.
  4. Registered voters interested in signing the petition simply click the link, access the secure online petition, read the information provided online (including, for ballot questions, the full text, attorney general’s title and explanation, and any fiscal note), and then, if willing to put the candidate or question on the ballot, click a button to sign.
  5. The system does not require a handwritten signature—no need to access the website via a touchscreen or scrawl a really bad signature by dragging the cursor around with your mouse. Signers simply check a box (“Clicking Yes constitutes your signature on this petition“) and hit Submit.
  6. The system then sends a confirmation email to the voter at the address submitted on the voter registration form (“Did you really sign just sign the petition to place ___ on the primary/general/special election ballot?). If the voter clicks the e-mailed confirmation link, the voter’s name is added to the online petition.
  7. The Secretary of State will share public links to online petitions on the SOS website and with candidates and ballot question sponsors. Petitioners may share links to their online petitions freely with anyone they wish via e-mail, social media, etc. Individuals accessing a petition from a public link, either on the SOS website or shared by petitioners, will log in by entering the same information necessary to access their registration information on the SOS Voter Information Portal (currently name plus date of birth or ZIP code, followed by a visual anti-bot code). Those signers will follow the same process as signers accessing the system via the official SOS secure link e-mailed to voters.
  8. The Secretary of State will share all data from each petition with its sponsor daily.

Consider the enormous advantages of this system:

  1. Candidates and ballot question sponsors can start collecting signatures immediately upon the Secretary of State’s approval for circulation, without any delay or expense for printing and distributing petitions.
  2. The system automatically filters out non-voters: folks not registered to vote won’t get a confirmation e-mail and thus won’t be able to put their names on the petition.
  3. The system eliminates errors signers may make in writing their names, addresses, date, and county of registration: the system applies data to the petition directly from the voter registration database.
  4. The system automatically counts signatures, making it much easier for sponsors to know how close they are to qualifying for the ballot.
  5. By reducing non-voters and errors to nearly zero and connecting petitions directly to the registration database, the online petition system reduces the time and effort the Secretary of State must expend to validate petitions to nearly zero. Increased cost from administering the online petitions will be offset at least in part by decreased (and perhaps completely eliminated) cost of validating petitions and dealing with petition challenges.
  6. If you don’t like petitions, the Secretary of State never e-mails you about them.
  7. Sponsors and other interested individuals can still carry paper petitions around to their friends and neighbors. However, the efficiency of online petitions will render the costly business of hiring petition circulators unviable and unnecessary. With petitions available online, circulators, particularly paid circulators, will mostly disappear from courthouses, windy street corners, and your doorstep.
  8. If circulators disappear, so do the petition blockers. You won’t have Jon Hansen, Al Novstrup, and whatever fake preachers the anti-abortion radicals have hired to stalk Dakotans for Health circulators creating a ruckus outside courthouses and farmers markets and other civil gatherings.
  9. The efficiency and accessibility of online petitions, especially when facilitated by the Secretary of State, would dramatically lower the cost of petition drives, reducing the dominance of big-money special-interest groups and restoring the ability of low-budget grassroots groups to put measures to a vote of the people.

Online petitions make the process of putting candidates and policies on the ballot much more affordable, accessible, and secure. Online petitions would reduce error and potential for fraud. And online petitions would largely end the need perceived by too many public officials to restrict citizens’ right to gather and discuss important public issues in public spaces just because they don’t like hearing people they disagree with on their way to work.

So, Legislature (and yes, you legislators would have to do some serious writing to create this system, and I’m willing to help), online petitions—can we make a deal?


  1. drey samuelson 2023-11-22 19:23

    This is genius! We should implement this by a ballot initiative!

  2. grudznick 2023-11-22 19:58

    Don’t you fellows already have this, Mr. Samuelson?

    It is real effective. BuwaahahaHAHAHA!

  3. Donald Pay 2023-11-22 21:46

    Your proposal makes too much sense to ever be enacted in South Dakota.

    To me the newest Minnehaha County proposal is reasonable, but it does seem to be a bit biased against the rights of disabled folks, who should have just as much right to be approached by a petition circulator as someone who is not disabled.

  4. grudznick 2023-11-22 21:52

    How could the State Secretary possibly send so many emails to so many fellows on a list? Even Mr. Gant, at his thickest level of power, could not have emailed so many people hisownself. And these emails, I am shown, can be shared with other nefarious types. “Forwarding” they call it. People forward grudznick emails all the time, usually with funny jokes and some anti-Trump rhetoric. This goes to the point that these emails can be shared with others. We cannot trust Ms. Monae with these responsibilities.

  5. Donald Pay 2023-11-23 06:54

    Grudz, you’re joking, right?

  6. David Bergan 2023-11-23 08:17

    Hi Cory!

    Great idea! I would add a small security feature… If the email address at the voter information portal changes, the subject cannot sign any petitions for a month. That way if someone changes my email address in the SoS system to, they can’t instantly sign petitions. My old email address (and phone number… by text) would be notified of the change and I’d have a month to sort it out with the SoS staff before my speech was impacted.

    Also, in part 7, add QR codes.

    Is there a way to electronically un-sign a petition? Like, if I decide to support a different candidate, or change my mind about an initiative if new information comes to light?

    Kind regards,

  7. Richard Schriever 2023-11-23 08:36

    grudz, it’s likely that YOU along with MILLIONS upon MILLIONS of other folks receive HUNDREDS of “opt-in e-mails like this daily. Seriously, I could set this up. And I haven’t worked professionally in ep-mail marketing for almost 35 years. It’s so much easier to do now to then……… Of course, we ARE talking of “conservat9ive” SD political operatives in the SOS office, so……. I suppose they are (like you) still trying the damnedest to resist the 20th century yet – eervn though we have moved a quarter of the way through the 21st.

  8. Richard Schriever 2023-11-23 08:39

    As to your “sharing” (via forwarding) concerns. So what. Once the ONE registered voter has signed, that voter (with their unique ID) cannot sign again. You know one person one vote doesn’t mean one cannot talk about one’s vote, right?

  9. Bob Newland 2023-11-23 08:49

    Donald Pay, I generally appreciate your instincts and assessments. Then you start treating the cowardly slug grudznutz as if it deserves the sort of consideration real people do. Makes me reconsider my take on your mental abilities.

  10. Mike Lee Zitterich 2023-11-23 09:01

    The problem with allowing online petitions is that it fails to place the petitioner in front of the people. One of the requirements in our constitutions is to place the petitioner in front of the Signer, forcing him to explain himself, his proposal, and his beliefs to the potential signer, the Citizens of South Dakota. And with all the fraud and manipulation going among the 50 States these days in terms of ballots, I would not trust the fact, that a potential signer could be foreign resident of the State, of whom happens to be a non-qualified voter of S.D itself. The process of petitioning S.D Citizens to place initiatives, resolutions, and candidates on a future ballot is not broken. This is simply a Democrat idea to allow them to basically gain signatures without first putting in the work. Which goes against everything that the American Republic stands for.

    The reason why the People of the Counties are attempting to pass ordinances to best manage petitions on public properties, is cause some petitioners have become argumentive, and overly abusive towards potential signers who attempt to have conversations with them, to only be berated and attacked for explaining their reasons for not signing, let alone asking the petitioners questions about the potential law itself.

    I had an experience in 2021-22 with a petition gatherer in relation to the Medicaid Expansion at the Post Office – when I was confronted by the petition gather, I gently told him no, i cannot sign the petition, cause I do not support, or want the item on the ballot. I then got into a friendly conversation with the petition gatherer about the topic, and the proposed amendment, and he basically told me this was not the proper time to have such discussion, so that told me right there, that these petition gatherers are not really for the people, cause if they were, they would effectively stand there and explain the potential law change, and allow for both sides of the debate to be heard.

    When I petition the voters, I am never afraid to sit down with the very people I am trying to gain support from, and have a educated informative, and professional conversation with the, prior to them signing, even if it takes 10 minutes, you have to be willing to have that conversation.

    As for the Roe v Wade Petition Gatherers, I am not going to sign their petition, cause I do not want it in our constitution, let alone, I am perfectly fine by how the law is written, can it be amended, to change it, yes, but it does NOT belong in our constitution, cause it would violate the constitution itself, as our constitution stands in defense of RIGHT TO LIFE, so the amendment would be challenged in court.
    When I attend events downtown Siou Falls, and I see the petitioners, I simply avoid them by walking away from them.

  11. larry kurtz 2023-11-23 09:13

    Nothing prevents South Dakota’s Earth hating, misogynistic legislators from nullifying any measure passed by voters because Republicans are evil.

  12. Mike Lee Zitterich 2023-11-23 09:44

    The only thing that prevents Initiatives, Resolutions from going into effect as adopted laws by July 1st in South Dakota is the very first “Bill of Right” as adopted by the PEOPLE OF SOUTH DAKOTA itself – ALL LAWS must fully be Consented to by the Governed !

    Article 6, Section 1 -Inherent rights. All men are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring and protecting property and the pursuit of happiness. To secure these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

    “Consent of the governed” refers to the idea that a government’s legitimacy and moral right to use state power is justified and lawful only when consented, or agreed to, by the people over which that political power is exercised.

    IT does not matter how many “Voters” or how many “State Legislators” vote in favor of any such initiative and resolution support such proposed law, what matters the most is whether or not the “WHOLE PEOPLE” fully consent to be governed as such.

    This fact alone is what keeps us from a full fledged Democracy (rule by majority). It prevents 200,000 voters in 10 S.D Counties from interferring in the daily lives of people who live their lives as they so wish in the other 56 S.D Counties. It allows those people the Right to NOT consent to any such initiative or resolution as adopted by the people in those 10 Counties, by filing for redress. It allows those People of South Dakota to either a) Petition the Voters to Refer back to a Second Public Vote; b) to Lobby the Legislature to Consider Changing, Repealing, or Creating a New Version of the Law during he legislative session, or c) allows the people to challenge the matter in court.

    The “Voters” vote in a General Election to adopt new laws every even numbered year in November. IF adopted, the People then have until July 1st of the ensuing year to petition the voters, the court, or lobby the legislature to strike down the initiative, resolution, or amendment.

    This is why our Legislature holds it’s Sessions between January 15 to March 15 (March 27-30) – this allows the People to file redresses, to lobby to reverse actions taken by the voters, let alone, the same voters can then utilize the remaining months, April 1st to June 30th to refer actions back to the voters, or to make petitions to the court.

    IF by July 1st, the newly adopted laws are not challenged or petitioned back to the voters, the PEOPLE have fully consented, and the law takes effect on July 1st.

    After July 1st, the only means to challange said law is to continue to address it the issue during the next Legislative Session, let alone, petition to place the matter back on a future General Election, just as the Petitioners of Butte, Lead, Meade, Hand, and Lawrence Counties are doing in relation to S.D.C.L 34-20.G

    The RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE can never be infringed – All it takes is for 1 Person to NOT CONSENT, and the LAW cannot go into effect.

  13. larry kurtz 2023-11-23 10:02

    Right to life? Not if you’re non-white in South Dakota.

    3. Rich women have full reproductive rights while women at the lower income margins suffer chilling effects on those rights. Women in Texas, Wyoming and South Dakota who can afford it simply jump on a plane and fly to Albuquerque, Minneapolis, Denver or elsewhere for their procedures. Imagine a woman on the Standing Rock or Pine Ridge doing that.

    7. Republican politicians drive their anti-woman crusade to raise campaign dollars so ending reproductive rights in red states is Balkanizing women’s health care.

    11. One fifth of all pregnancies end in miscarriage or as some would call God working in mysterious ways but when a person chooses to terminate a pregnancy the creator doesn’t condone that decision? How does that work?

  14. larry kurtz 2023-11-23 10:06

    Anyone who believes South Dakota’s demented legislature will allow any measure it disagrees with to become law is delusional.

  15. Donald Pay 2023-11-23 10:11

    Mike Z., The SD Constitution does not require a petition circulator for an initiative or a referendum. Cory’s proposal could be implemented by a change in state law. That could be done through the legislative process or the initiative process.

    There is relatively little fraud involved in petition signing. The most common signing mistakes are when people aren’t registered at the address they put on the ballot because they have moved and haven’t updated their registration. This is not fraud, but a terrible glitch in how the SOS office handles In handles verifying signatures. Some years there are a lot of petitions circulating and some folks forget which they’ve signed and which they haven’t, so they sign twice by mistake.

    Cory’s proposal would allow for correcting most of these mistakes right on the spot, by allowing that person re-register at their new address and to quickly search if they they have signed already.

  16. larry kurtz 2023-11-23 10:52

    $20 says the petitioners working in Minnehaha County will be violently attacked by the Zittiots.

  17. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-11-24 04:48

    Automation, Grudz. Technologically, what I’ve sketched is not hard to accomplish. David’s suggestions are welcome enhancements and also easy to implement.

    Changes in address are easily addressed, but I don’t think we need to make the person sit out for a month, any more than we need to make a new registrant sit out for a month. Just confirm the email address, perhaps by a separate means (phone call or text), and pow! signing can happen same day. Besides, we don’t have online registration, so no one can change an address in the system except for the SOS or the county auditors punching in the info. We can monitor the system for unusual changes, like huge batches of changes coming from foreign IPs, and freeze and investigate those attempts.

    QR codes? You bet. Easy. SOS and sponsors alike can easily serve those up. SOS could send out posters with QR codes to be hung at every county courthouse.

    Un-signing? Sure. We can add an option to the petition portal that allows voters to see a full list of available petitions and which ones they’ve signed. We can allow citizens to access the petitions they’ve signed and withdraw their signatures before the submission deadline. But I wonder: we don’t really have a process that allows citizens to un-vote, to retract a ballot they’ve already cast, do we? Do we have an obligation to allow people to withdraw a signature? Might we better respect the solemnity of the petition process by saying to people, “Look, once you’ve signed, you’ve signed, so if you’re not sure, don’t sign”?

    In the extreme, I could imagine a signature-withdrawal option leading saboteurs like the Life Defense Fund to get 10,000 opponents to sign the Roe petition and make Dakotans for Health think they’ve got enough signatures to submit, only to jump online the week before the deadline and withdraw their signatures, leaving the sponsors short without time to recover. That would be a risky campaign, but it could happen. I’m thus queasy about offering an unsigning option.

  18. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-11-24 04:52

    Mike’s discourse about July 1 is irrelevant. The July 1 deadline is a recent statutory innovation, adopted only in 2017. Previously, voter-approved measures went into effect the day after the official canvass, eight days after the election. That system was perfectly constitutional and it worked just fine.

    But the implementation deadline is irrelevant to the question of how we place measures on the ballot.

  19. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-11-24 04:59

    Sponsors may be able to explain themselves in far greater detail in an online petition system. Sponsors can include the full text of their measure with thorough annotations of every provision and links to existing statutes, examples of similar proposals in other states, and articles relating to the problem the initiative addresses and results of similar policies elsewhere. Plus, sponsors won’t be bothering people who don’t want to sign with long explanations on the street that interrupt folks’ daily routines or create all that dreaded disruption outside the courthouses. ;-)

    Nothing about the online system prevents you, Mike, or other citizens from going around and having conversations with people promoting ballot measures.

    And actually, the circulator who told you that now was not the time or place for that circulator to stop looking to engage every other citizen and devote all of her valuable time, either paid or volunteer, to having a long, exclusive conversation with you. The circulator’s job is to help puyt the measure on the ballot. That means getting as many signatures as possible in the brief time available. If you aren’t going to sign, the circulator has a duty to say “Thank you” and turn to other possible willing signers. You and your views aren’t that special, and the circulator isn’t required to pay you, an opponent, that special attention. If you want to meet the circulator when he or she isn’t on duty and have a conversation over coffee, and if the circulator is willing to meet you later, after petitioning, that’s fine.

  20. Sandra Flittie 2023-11-24 08:26

    Great idea. I live in the sticks and never get close to a petition, unless I look for them at the Brown County fair once a year.

  21. Mike Lee Zitterich 2023-11-24 09:58

    Yes, Cory is correct the effective date was pushed back to July 1st each year, this allowed both the Voters led initiatives and resolutions to go into effect the same time as Legislator led initiatives and resolutions, creating a common, uniform time period. It also allowed opponents the ability to lobby the legislature to take up the voter adopted initiatives and resolutions requesting reconsideration to make changes or to appeal the law completely, while allowing the “proponents” to come back and conduct referrendums between April 1st and June 30th. It 100% reinforced the CONSENT RULE under Article 6, Section 1, making sure, these adopted laws are what the People want or do not want.

    As for the Online Petitions, will never gain support, cause South Dakota People are not dumb, they all agree, if you want to petition the voters, to place initiatives, resolutions, candidates on the ballot, then “WE” want you to place yourself in front of the people themselves. This forces people to congregate, create discussion, and meet and greet the very petitioners themselves.

    If the Petitioners are LAZY, and refuse to go out to all 35 Legislative Districts, or 66 Counties, then we can adopt a LAW that requires the PETITIONER to collect signatures in no less than 2/3’s of all the 66 Counties, forcing them to discuss their proposals with as many people as possible, and in as many counties as possible. Oops – the Democrats hate this, cause it slows down the petition process, creating time and travel expenses, so I can see how the democrats favor ONLINE PETITIONS, they want to petition from their basements these days.

    When are Democrats going to stop manipulating the system? When are they going to learn that the main reason their measures get repealed, challenged, and striked down, is cause the PEOPLE do NOT trust them, let alone support them cause they refuse to travel the state to meet all the people of every countys?

    Amendment A was a classic example – all petitions were signed in 10 counties, and ironically, all the 54% YES VOTES derived from predominantly those 10 counties, whereas in 38 counties, the PEOPLE opposed the Amendment. This really meant Amendment A was widely NOT supported, and was later challenged in the Supreme Court. Brought back in 2022 allowing voters to vote on Recreational Marijuana, this was confirmed, nearly 60% of the voters did NOT support nor favor recreational marijuana. THe same COUNTIES that said NO the first time in 2020, said NO the second time, plus more voters voted NO this time, meaning, the assessments from 2020 were true.

    WE are not a democracy, we are a REPUBLIC, which allows the PEOPLE to discuss their “Statewide Public Business” together, ALL 66 Counties together, and not be overruled by a minority of 10 Groups of People…

  22. larry kurtz 2023-11-24 10:07

    The Electoral College needs to be abolished so voters can name their own leaders.

  23. larry kurtz 2023-11-24 10:10

    How are 66 counties either conservative or sustainable? They’re not; but, it is the way Republican cronyism and patronage built barricades to democracy by providing benefits of the public dole to those who say they deplore big gubmint in a state that hates poor people.

  24. larry kurtz 2023-11-24 10:12

    Voter turnout is dismal in Indian Country mostly because tribal nations endure hopelessness as they compete with the stingy red moocher state government for resources.

    The Wanblee district should be in Oglala Lakota County then Jackson should be rolled into Haakon, Jones and Lyman Counties. Stanley and Sully should be rolled into Hughes. Give Indian Country some clout by making Oglala Lakota, Mellette, Bennett, Todd, Gregory and Tripp one county. Dewey, Ziebach and Corson should be a county. Butte, Harding and Perkins should be one. Lawrence and Meade should be one, Fall River and Custer should be one.

    Fine. Stanley might be happier being in with Lyman and the others. Combine Marshall and Brown Counties, too. East River is a dead zone: smarter people than i can figure out how to sort out that mess. Everything east of the Missouri River is Cleveland anyway.

    It’s obvious this phenomenon is no accident: it has been manufactured to make the state a corporatist tax haven for an exclusive set of Republicans while over $3 trillion languishes in South Dakota banks.

  25. larry kurtz 2023-11-24 10:36

    If Earth haters like Zitterich don’t like online petitions that means they need to happen.

  26. grudznick 2023-11-24 10:49

    grudznick’s close personal friend Lar is righter-than-right about the counties too many. Western Pennington, outside of the Rapid City limits, should be in the Fallruster county, too.

    Ron’s Cafe is closed today, and it would remain in the county named for Governor Pennington.

  27. Mike Zitterich 2023-11-24 13:42

    The Electoral College is fine, the Electors need to be apportioned properly so the candidate gets allotted the proper electors. This country was founded on the same governing process as how Moses set up the Ancient Israelite Goverment. HOUSE OF GOD at the top, then the people who elect their Committees, Commissions, and Boards, to whom choose their At Large Representatives – The Executive (Moses), Vice Executive (Aaron), their Attorney, Secretary, Treasurer, Auditor, Land Commissioner (Planning, Zoning, Activities), School Commissiner. The People then elected their Tribal Councils (Legislators) and each of the 12 Tribes got to choose 1 National Representative each. Our Republic is Awesome. Just as the 12 Tribes were a Confederacy of Tribes, the 50 States are Confederacy of States. And thanks to the Tea Party and Patriot Movement, we completely have uniting the 50 States, by first putting into place Donald Trump (2017-2021) who became the Trumpet, organizing the States, and expressing to the World America is changing from within. From 2022 to 2029 the the trials and tribulations are occuring. the Trials of Donald Trump (The Republic) and the Investigations of Joe Biden (Deep State Actors) and by 2040 we will have restored the Republic. Calling forth the 12 Israelite Tribes, and the Nation of Israel.

  28. Donald Pay 2023-11-24 14:03

    The July 1 date is not in the SD Constitution. It states in Article III, Section 22: § 22. Effective date of acts–Emergency clause. No act shall take effect until ninety days after the adjournment of the session at which it passed, unless in case of emergency, (to be expressed in the preamble or body of the act) the Legislature shall by a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected of each house, otherwise direct.”

    The history of this clause is not clear, but it was in the Statehood Constitution. Some of that constitution was copied from other states’ constitutions so that could be its origin. This was before the initiative and referendum were effectuated through a constitutional amendment. The Initiative and referendum, however, were clearly discussed during several sessions during several iterations of drafting several SD Constitutions and it was known that a certain period of time would be needed to collect signatures on any referendum. Thus, it is not out of the realm of possibility that this was why the 90-day period was put into the Constitution in the first place.

    Mike is clearly out in the ozone layer on his belief about “consent of the governed.” What more sort of consent of the governed do you want than having the governed vote to consent to legislation they will be governed by? Before you go off half-cocked saying that people are not capable of understanding the vast complexity of the legislation that comes before legislators, let me say, I agree. In fact, that applies to legislators, as well. And when legislators get it wrong and the Governor gets it wrong, the people have a way to correct that wrong in South Dakota.

    So, Mike has it exactly backwards. Legislators in South Dakota are part-time, not professionals. They are little better informed on most subjects than most citizens are. In fact on a lot of issues, they are less informed than many citizens are, which is why the lobbyists, and not the legislators are often the ones writing the laws the legislature passes. In fact in the last 40 years, it is often out-of-state special interests writing the bills. The initiative and the referendum simply broadens out who is writing the laws we are government by from a group of full-time lobbyists and special interests to WE, THE PEOPLE. Under God, the People Rule, Mike.

  29. Mike Zitterich 2023-11-24 14:48

    While I agree with Donald on Article III, the 90 day rule applies to ALL initiatives and resolutions adopted by the people. Because America was founded on the belief that WE THE PEOPLE rule under God. with the HOUSE OF GOD being the Supreme Authority, no law can go into effect until ALL PEOPLE Making Up the State consent to such newly adoped initiative or resolution. The term “Consent of the Governed” is no metaphor. It refers to ALL the People of the State, with the State defined as “The People Under the State” of which is a Free Republic Under the House of God.

    Because the Qualified Voters do not represent all the People of the State, and the Legislators likewise also are a small group of elected people, anything passed by these two groups of qualified persons, cannot go into effect untl ALL PEOPLE OF THE STATE Consent. And thanks to Article III this cannot be prior to 90 Days after the initiative or resolution or amendment are adopted by the voters and/or the legislators. July 1st was chosen in order to place all adopted laws on same date. Not only that, but it allows the opponents to also utilize the services of the Legislature to reconsider, and discuss further the laws adopted by the voters themselves.

  30. larry kurtz 2023-11-24 15:02

    The Electoral College needs to be abolished so voters can name their own leaders and if Earth haters like Zitterich don’t like online petitions that means they need to happen.

  31. larry kurtz 2023-11-24 15:04

    South Dakota’s deranged legislature should be disbanded immediately and replaced with a tribunal appointed by the Biden Administration.

  32. larry kurtz 2023-11-24 15:07

    Mrs. Noem should be arrested and charged with gross malfeasance.

  33. larry kurtz 2023-11-24 15:09

    Shad Olson calls the petitioners drug addicted out of state child murderers.

  34. larry kurtz 2023-11-24 15:12

    Marty Jackley would do himself a solid and Monae Johnson, too, if they would take evidence in hand and reject the petition efforts of carpetbagging drug addicts, attempting to permanently install baby murder in all 9 months into the South Dakota constitution. These people are foul monstrosities of human sacrifice who have so little resources, both internal and external, that killing baby humans is an acceptable option to continue their poverty. Call the South Dakota Attorney General and the Secretary of State and urge them to destroy the fraud and misanthropic scarcity mentality of drug addicted idiots who threaten to kill members of the legislature. These people are the dregs of society… if possible, even lower than the likes of Lee Schoenberg and Dan Lederman.

  35. larry kurtz 2023-11-24 15:13

    No doubt the Zittiots feel the same way.

  36. larry kurtz 2023-11-24 15:17

    What is it with Zitterich and Olson who hate Jews but love Zionism?

  37. larry kurtz 2023-11-24 15:30

    Y’all should appoint me Governor of South Dakota so I can rule by executive fiat!

  38. larry kurtz 2023-11-24 15:39

    Field Marshal Colonel Kurtz does have a nice ring to it!

  39. grudznick 2023-11-24 19:14

    Colonel Kurtz, your relative the ivory trader, would concur, Lar.
    The horror. The horror.

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