South Dakota veto referendum passes signature verification, nestles onto 2012 ballot

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August 9, 2011

South Dakota

PIERRE, South Dakota: South Dakota has jumped into the 2012 ballot measure fray with the addition of the proposed veto referendum concerning House Bill 1230. The measure will be placed on the November 6, 2012 general election ballot.

HB 1230 would dedicate part of tax revenues for grants to some business projects in the state.[1]

Specifically, if the law is not repealed, starting on January 1, 2013, a 22 percent portion of contractor-excise tax revenues would allocated to a "large project fund." The state Board of Economic Development would then decide which specific projects would be qualified to receive grants from that large fund. Reports say that the law requires the projects to be at least $5 million in size.

According to the South Dakota Secretary of State's website, the veto referendum against HB 1230 was sent to the ballot following the verification of submitted signatures by referendum supporters.[2]

According to state law, 5 percent of the signatures on the petitions should be verified, which equals to approximately 1,150, depending on the total of signatures submitted. At least 15,855 valid signatures of South Dakota registered voters needed to be collected in order for the measure to be on the ballot.

On June 27, 2011, supporters of the referendum turned in about 23,000 signatures to the South Dakota Secretary of State's office.

On July 18, 2011, the South Dakota Secretary of State claimed that enough signatures were gathered, stating: “Petition circulators submitted approximately 22,883 signatures to refer the measure to a vote. According to state law and administrative rule, we drew a random sample of 1,145 signature lines to check for validation, which comprised the required audit of 5 percent of the signatures."

However, the measure was not yet officially certified for the ballot at that time. The measure has since been officially sent to the ballot, according to the secretary's website.

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