Laws governing the initiative process in South Dakota (archive)
- 1 How the process begins
- 2 Details and regulations
- 3 New restrictions on circulators
- 4 Proposed changes
- 5 Campaign finance
- 6 External links
- 7 References
- Directly enact a new constitutional amendment.
- Directly enact a new state law.
- Through veto referendum, veto a law enacted by the South Dakota State Legislature.
How the process begins
First, sponsors must submit any initiated measure or constitutional amendment in text to the director of the Legislative Research Council who will within 15 days provide written comments on the measure to the sponsors and the South Dakota Secretary of State. The sponsors of the initiative need not make any changes based on what the Legislative Research Council recommends. (See ballot title.)
The full text of any petition to be circulated to put a question on the general election ballot complete with names and addresses of the petition sponsors must be filed with the Secretary of State prior to circulation for signatures. No signatures obtained before that filing date will be counted.
All sections of any completed ballot question petition shall be filed simultaneously together with a sworn affidavit prescribed by the State Board of Elections signed by two-thirds of the sponsors.
Details and regulations
- See also: Petition drive deadlines, 2012
Initiative language can be submitted at any time. The maximum allowable time for circulation is one year. For the 2012 General Election, the deadline to submit signatures for initiated constitutional amendments and initiated statutes was November 1, 2011.
South Dakota does not have a geographic distribution requirement.
- Main article: Residency requirements for petition circulators
Individuals circulating I&R petitions in South Dakota must be residents of South Dakota.
- Main article: South Dakota signature requirements
In South Dakota, signatures are tied to the number of votes cast for the office of governor in the state's most recent gubernatorial election. For statutes or veto referendums, signatures equal to 5% of this vote are required. For constitutional amendments, signatures equal to 10% are required.
|Year||Constitutional Amendment||Statute||Veto referendum|
Each signature is verified until reaching the minimum number of valid signatures needed to qualify an issue for the ballot, at which time no further signatures are scrutinized.
South Dakota does not have a single-subject rule.
- Main article: Legislative tampering
New restrictions on circulators
A new law was enacted in 2007 pertaining to paid circulators. According to this law, circulators for statewide initiatives cannot be employed based on a per-signature payment method. Instead the law is as follows:
- Paying an hourly wage or salary is acceptable.
- Establishing either expressed or implied minimum signature requirements for the petition circulator is allowed.
- Terminating the employment of circulators that fail to meet productivity requirements is allowed.
- Paying bonuses based on longevity and productivity is allowed.
Bills that have or might be introduced in the 2011 session of the South Dakota State Legislature include:
The following proposals were made during the 2009-2010 session of the South Dakota State Legislature:
Members of the South Dakota State Legislature want to change laws governing the initiative process in South Dakota to require additional donor disclosure. One new law, SB180, would apply that when organizations give more than $10,000 to a ballot measure committee, someone from the organization would have to file a signed statement with election officials swearing that the money wasn't raised for the purpose of influencing the ballot question, or file a full report as a ballot committee. A second bill defines "treasury funds" as "funds of an organization that were not raised or collected from any other source for the purpose of influencing a ballot question."
The notable features of South Dakota's campaign finance law are:
- Groups in support or opposition of a ballot issue are treated differently than other political committees.
- Corporations and labor unions can donate to groups in support or opposition of a ballot issue.
- South Dakota requires immediate reporting all advertisements over $1,000 made by independent expenditure groups within 48 hours after the ad was first disseminated.
- Corporations and labor unions who plan to donate to a Ballot Issue Committee must file a series of statements with the South Dakota Secretary of State that certifies them in good standing.
- How To Circulate a Ballot Question Petition in South Dakota
- South Dakota Initiatives and Referendum website
- South Dakota Initiatives Law and Practice
- Basic Steps to Initiative and Referendum
- Dakota Constitution and Statutory Provisions
- I&R Institute - South Dakota
State of South Dakota
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