Nonpartisan Primary Measure Headed for 2016 South Dakota Ballot

Democrat_RepublicanPierre, SD – Today, South Dakota Secretary of State Shantel Krebs announced that an initiated amendment to the South Dakota Constitution establishing Nonpartisan Elections was validated and certified to be on the November 2016 general election ballot as a ballot measure the citizens will vote on. The sponsor turned in 44,095 signatures to the Secretary of state’s office. A Constitutional Amendment requires 27,741 signatures from South Dakota registered voters. Once the signatures were delivered to the Secretary of State’s office, a 5% random sampling was conducted. It was determined that 67.8% or 29,924 of 44,095 signatures were in good standing. This will be Constitutional Amendment V.

This is the sixth initiated measure to be approved by Secretary of State. A total of 8 measures were submitted for review. This office will continue the signature validation process of the remaining 2 measures in the order they were submitted to the Secretary of State. A total of 275,000 signatures were submitted among all petitions.

Those looking to challenge the Secretary of State’s certification of a ballot measure have 30 days from the date they are certified, which would be February 8, 2016.

Challenges to all statewide initiatives and referendums must be brought within 30 days after the petition has been validated and filed by the Secretary of State (SDCL 12-1-13)

  1. When does the 30 days start to run?

The 30 days starts to run once the petition is officially filed with the Secretary of State’s Office; the petition is only filed after the Office goes through the petition validation process and determines that the petition contains a sufficient number of signatures to be filed.

  1. How will potential challengers know when their 30 days begins to run?

Once the Office makes a determination that there are a sufficient number of signatures such to file the petition, the Secretary of State’s Office will make that information publically available through social media, including twitter updates that are available on the Secretary of State’s website.

  1. How is each petition labeled or marked?  How should challengers make arrangements to review the petitions?

The Secretary of State’s Office runs each self-contained petition through a scanner, which places the date, time and a sequential number on each petition. Challengers seeking to “research” the signatures pursuant to SDCL 12-1-13 should contact Kea Warne at the Secretary of State’s Office (605) 773-5003 to make the necessary arrangements.

  1. How much does it cost for copies of the petition sheet?

The Secretary of State is required by state law to charge $1.00 per page for copies.  Copies of petitions are two pages due to the petition being printed front and back side which would calculate to a copy fee of $2.00 per petition.  This fee applies to both paper and electronic copies.

  1. What order do you process the petitions in?

The Secretary of State’s office will process each petition one at a time, and in the order in which they are received.

  1. The petitions are not public documents until after the Secretary of State’s Office has completed the validation process and either filed or rejected the petition.  No copies can be purchased until this process is completed for the particular petition of which copies are being requested.

SOS Website:


  1. Bob Ellis says:

    This is an “Operation Chaos” measure that would allow Democrats to vote in Republican primaries (and vice versa), giving Democrats a voice in choosing the Republican nominee. If Democrats have no candidates or only one candidate, this allows them to vote for the most liberal “Republican” in the primary. “Republican” nominees are already liberal enough most of the time, with the massive amounts of money the RINO establishment has to throw at elections; allowing Democrats and liberal “independents” to vote in Republican primaries is a recipe for disaster.

    • DCM7 says:

      “would allow Democrats to vote in Republican primaries”
      Wow, leave it to Democrats to come up with something like that. As if the Democrat-run media wasn’t essentially already picking Republican nominees anyway!
      I think it says something about both parties that there’s a such thing as RINO but not DINO. You can only counterfeit what’s real and has value to begin with, after all.

      • Bob Ellis says:

        Indeed. And who was behind this measure getting on the ballot? You guessed it: a group founded by a Democrat senatorial candidate in the last election.