South Dakota Native American Suffrage (1890)

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The South Dakota Native American Suffrage Referendum was on the November 4, 1890 ballot in South Dakota as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was defeated. The measure would have prohibited Native Americans who sustained tribal relations, received government support or held untaxable land in severality from voting in elections held under the state constitution.[1][2]

Election results

South Dakota Native American Suffrage (1890)
Defeatedd No38,36256.90%
Yes 29,053 43.10%

Election results via: South Dakota Political Almanac, Table 7. Results of Elections Concerning State Constitutional Amendments and Initiated and Referred Laws, 1889-1968

Text of measure

Constitutional changes

If the measure had been approved, the following text would have been added to the South Dakota Constitution.[2]

No Indian who sustains tribal relations, receives support in whole or in part from the government of the United States, or holds untaxable land in severalty, shall be permitted to vote at any election held under this constitution.[3]

Wording controversy

According to a historical article from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), there was confusion regarding the ballot language and many thought they were voting against it when they were actually voting for it.[4]

Path to the ballot

See also: Amending the South Dakota Constitution

The South Dakota State Legislature can refer a proposed amendment to the state's voters through a majority vote.

See also

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This historical ballot measure article requires that the text of the measure be added to the page.