Laws governing local ballot measures in South Dakota

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Laws Governing Local Ballot Measures

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A guide to local ballot initiatives
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Ballot Law Portal
Laws Governing Ballot Measures
All South Dakota cities and counties have an initiative and referendum process for local ballot measures.

This article sets out the laws governing local ballot measures in South Dakota. It explains:

  • Which local units of government make the initiative process available to residents.
  • How and whether local units of government, including school districts, can refer local ballot measures (such as school bond propositions) to the ballot.
  • An overview of laws governing local recall elections.

Types of local government

Local government in South Dakota consists of:

  • Counties: There are 66 counties in South Dakota. Two of these, Shannon and Todd, operate under home rule charters.[1]
  • Townships: There are 916 townships in South Dakota. 52 of South Dakota's 66 counties contain townships. These townships comprise the organized areas of the county that are not included in a municipality.
  • Municipalities: There are 310 municipalities in South Dakota. 10 of these operate under home rule charters. They are: Aberdeen, Beresford, Brookings, Elk Point, Faith, Fort Pierre, Pierre, Sioux Falls, Springfield, and Watertown.[2][3]
  • In addition, there are 543 special districts and 152 independent school districts.[4]

School districts

See also: School bond and tax elections in South Dakota

Under South Dakota law, school districts are required to hold elections for bonding issued through capital outlays. However, South Dakota does not require elections for school districts seeking to exceed the levy cap. South Dakota requires a three-fifths (60%) super-majority vote in order to approve a bond measure. Also, school districts that have voter approved capital outlay certificates are required to follow a five year plan. South Dakota strictly mandates a five year plan that discloses how school districts will spend capital outlay funds if the measure is approved by the voters.

Local recall rules

In South Dakota, the right of recall extends to "the mayor, any commissioner, any alderman, or any member of the board of trustees" in municipal jurisdictions. Recall is governed by Sections 13(29) through 13(35) of Chapter 9 of South Dakota Codified Law (SDCL).

For additional detail, see: Laws governing recall in South Dakota

Initiative process availability

All incorporated local governments have mandated initiative and referendum.[5]

Authority

Constitution

Article IX, Section 2 of the South Dakota Constitution mandates charter amendment through initiative and referendum.

Statutes

South Dakota Code of Laws 9-20-1 mandates initiative and referendum for ordinances in all cities.

Initiative process features

The initiative process for general law municipalites is detailed in the South Dakota Code of Laws 9-20-01 through 9-20-19.[6]

Charter cities must have an initiative process for charter amendments at least as restrictive as that of general law cities.


Local I&R Laws in the 50 States
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Source:Local Ballot Initiatives: How citizens change laws with
clipboards, conversations, and campaigns

Initiative process in the top 10 most populated cities

List of Most Populated Cities in South Dakota
City[7] Population City Type Next election
Sioux Falls 156,592 Charter N/A
Rapid City 69,200 General law N/A
Aberdeen 26,297 Charter N/A
Brookings 22,228 Charter N/A
Watertown 21,658 Charter N/A
Mitchell 15,368 General law N/A
Yankton 14,564 General law N/A
Pierre 13,860 Charter N/A
Huron 12,706 General law N/A
Vermillion 10,706 General law N/A


See also

External links

References