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South Dakota senator calls for Secretary of State to step down

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September 28, 2012

South Dakota

By Jennifer Springer

PIERRE, South Dakota: State senator Stan Adelstein is calling for the resignation of Secretary of State Jason Gant.[1] Adelstein says Gant violated state law when he failed to list opposing statements on several constitutional amendments appearing on 2012 general election ballots.[1]

On September 26, 2012, Adelstein asked Gant to alter a pamphlet his office issued explaining ballot questions. In a letter to Gant, Adelstein pointed out that he did not list opposing views to the four constitutional amendments on the November ballot in the pamphlet, as is required by state law. Adelstein also personally wrote an opposing view to Constitutional Amendment P, which calls for a balanced state budget, which he said should be included in a new pamphlet.[2]

Adelstein and various other house and senate representatives voted against the constitutional amendments dealing with cement plant funds and balanced budget requirements in February 2012. However, official documents on the Secretary of State's website do not list any opposition on at least three amendments.[1]

"Its possible, because people they see 'balanced budget',they will see the argument for, they will not see any argument against, and they will check a box which will weaken- will weaken- the South Dakota budget," said Adelstein.[1]

Adelstein has also criticized the Secretary of State for endorsing candidates in Republican primaries and remarked that the new Secretary of State did not understand his role in state government.[2] In his call for Gant to resign, Adelstein also commented on the hiring of former Minnehaha County Auditor Sue Roust in August as the interim elections director, replacing former elections director Aaron Loreznen, and the fact that Gant is paying her $10,000 a month, which is $1,585 a month more than Gov. Dennis Daugaard is paid.[2]

Gant is reportedly currently involved in a lawsuit regarding the alleged mishandling of election petitions.[1]

Previous claims from Adelstein about alleged illegal activity in the Secretary of State's office were investigated by the Attorney General's office and dismissed earlier this year.[1]

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