Laws governing the initiative process in South Dakota

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Contents
1 Laws and procedures
1.1 Crafting an initiative
1.1.1 Single-subject rule
1.1.2 Subject restrictions
1.1.3 Competing initiatives
1.2 Starting a petition
1.2.1 Applying to petition
1.2.2 Proposal review/approval
1.2.3 Petition summary
1.2.4 Fiscal review
1.3 Collecting signatures
1.3.1 Number required
1.3.2 Distribution requirements
1.3.3 Restrictions on circulators
1.3.4 Electronic signatures
1.3.5 Deadlines for collection
1.4 Getting on the ballot
1.4.1 Signature verification
1.4.2 Ballot title and summary
1.5 The election and beyond
1.5.1 Supermajority requirements
1.5.2 Effective date
1.5.3 Litigation
1.5.4 Legislative tampering
1.5.5 Re-attempting an initiative
1.6 Funding an initiative campaign
1.7 State initiative law
2 Changes in the law

Citizens of South Dakota may initiate legislation as either a state statute or a constitutional amendment. In South Dakota, citizens also have the power to repeal legislation via veto referendum. The South Dakota State Legislature may also place measures on the ballot as legislatively-referred constitutional amendments or legislatively-referred state statutes with a majority vote of each chamber.

Crafting an initiative

Of the 24 states that allow citizens to initiate legislation through the petition process, several states have adopted restrictions and regulations that limit the scope and content of proposed initiatives. These regulations may include laws that mandate that initiatives address only one topic, restrict the range of acceptable topics for proposed laws, prohibit unfunded mandates, and establish guidelines for adjudicating contradictory measures.

Single-subject rule

See also: Single-subject rule

South Dakota does not have a single-subject rule for ballot measures. The state constitution explicitly permits amending multiple sections of the constitution with a single measure. Article XXIII states: "A proposed amendment may amend one or more articles and related subject matter in other articles as necessary to accomplish the objectives of the amendment."

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: South Dakota Constitution, Article III, Section 1 & Article XXIII, Sections 1-3 & South Dakota Codified Laws, Title 2, Chapter 1 & Title 12, Chapter 13

Subject restrictions

See also: Subject restrictions (ballot measures)

In South Dakota, initiated measures and amendments may not create private or special laws. Also, they are not required to specify a funding source for mandated expenditures.[1]

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: South Dakota Constitution, Article III, Section 23

Competing initiatives

See also: Superseding initiative; "Poison pills"; List of South Dakota ballot measures

South Dakota law does not address the approval of conflicting ballot measures.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: South Dakota Constitution, Article III, Section 1, Article XXIII, Sections 1-3 & South Dakota Codified Laws, Title 2, Chapter 1

Starting a petition

Each initiative and referendum state employs a different procedure for filing petition applications. Some states require preliminary signatures while others do not. In addition, several states review each proposed statute, verifying that the law conforms to the style and conventions of state law and recommending alterations to initiative proponents. Some of these of these states also review the law for more substantive considerations of content and consistency. Also, many states conduct a review of the ballot title and summary, and several states employ a fiscal review process which analyzes proposed laws to determine their impact on state finances.[2][3][4]

Applying to petition

See also: Approved for circulation

Prior to collecting signatures, sponsors must file a copy of the proposed statute or amendment with the Legislative Research Council for review. Once the review has been completed and the ballot language drafted by the Attorney General, a complete copy of the petition, including the names and addresses of the petition sponsors, must submitted to the Secretary of State.

  • A example of a completed initial filing can be found here.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: South Dakota Codified Laws, Title 2, Chapter & Chapter 13, Section 25 & South Dakota Administrative Rules, Chapter 5:02:08:07

Proposal review/approval

See also: Approved for circulation

Once the measure is submitted to the Legislative Research Council, the council reviews the measure for clarity, coherence, and style. The council then provides comments to the sponsors as well as the Secretary of State and Attorney General. All suggestions made in the comments are optional.

  • An example of LRC comments can be found here.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: South Dakota Codified Laws, Title 12, Chapter 13, Section 25

Petition summary

See also: Ballot measure summary statement

After the council completes its review, proponents must submit the final draft to the Attorney General. The Attorney General then drafts a short, descriptive title for the measure. In addition, he or she must draft a clear, concise, and objective statement which explains the purpose and effect of the measure.

  • An example of this language can be found here.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: South Dakota Codified Laws, Title 12, Chapter 13, Section 25.1

Fiscal review

See also: Fiscal impact statement

South Dakota does not require a fiscal review of state ballot questions. However, state law instructs the Attorney General to include in the summary "the likely exposure of the state to liability" as a consequence of adopting the measure.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: South Dakota Codified Laws, Title 12, Chapter 13, Section 25.1

Collecting signatures

Each initiative and referendum state employs a unique method of calculating the state's signature requirements. Some states mandate a certain fraction of registered voters while others base their calculation on those who actually voted in a preceding election. In addition, many states employ a distribution requirement, dictating where in the state these signatures must be collected. Beyond these overarching requirements, many states regulate the manner in which signatures may be collected and the timeline for collecting them.

Number required

See also: 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
2014 31,708 15,854 15,854
2012 31,708 15,854 15,854
2010 33,551 16,776 16,776
2008 33,551 16,776 16,776

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: South Dakota Constitution, Article III, Section 1 & Article III, Section 1

Distribution requirements

See also: Distribution requirements

South Dakota does not have a distribution requirement for petition signatures.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: South Dakota Constitution, Article III, Section 1 & Article XXIII, Sections 1-3

Restrictions on circulators

Circulator requirements

See also: Petition circulator

In South Dakota, there are no statutes that prevent a circulator from signing the petition being circulated. Each initiative petition contains a mandatory circulator affidavit. The circulator is required to sign these affidavits before a public notary. He/she must swear to and sign a statement, under the penalty of law, that he/she personally witnessed every act of signing the petition.[5] According to South Dakota Statutes 2-1-1.2 and 2-1-10, those circulating petitions are required:[6][5]

  • to provide each person who signs the petition a form containing the title and explanation of the initiated measure as prepared by the attorney general
  • to sign verification before filing

Once circulation is completed, the signatures are submitted to the Secretary of State.[6]

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: South Dakota Statutes 2-1-10, Admin Rule 5:02:08:07 & South Dakota Statutes 2-1-1.2

Pay-per-signature

See also: Pay-per-signature

South Dakota does not permit paying circulators by the signature. However, state law explicitly permits employers to set minimum gathering requirements and pay discretionary bonuses based on productivity.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: South Dakota Codified Laws, Title 12, Chapter 13, Section 28

Out-of-state circulators

See also: Residency requirements for petition circulators

South Dakota requires signature gatherers to be residents of the state.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: South Dakota Codified Laws, Title 12, Chapter 1, Section 3 (9)


Circulators that are registered sex offenders

South Dakota forbids registered sex offenders form circulating petitions in the state. The law excepts offenders that are circulating petitions under circumstances where they are in the employ of, and under the immediate supervision of, another person and where the circumstances preclude any contact with children. The law also excepts any registered sex offenders circulating any nominating petitions on their own behalf for election to any federal, state, or local office for which they are otherwise qualified.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: South Dakota Codified Laws, Title 12, Chapter 1, Section 32, 33, 34

Badge requirements

See also: Badge requirements

South Dakota law does not require the circulator's paid/volunteer status to be disclosed.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: South Dakota Codified Laws, Title 2, Chapter 1 & Title 12, Chapter 13

Electronic signatures

See also: Electronic petition signatures

Since electronic signatures are an emerging technology, the constitutionality of bans on e-signatures and the legality of e-signatures in states without bans is largely untested. South Dakota does mandate that signatures be collected in person.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: South Dakota Codified Laws, Title 2, Chapter 1, Section 7

Deadlines for collection

See also: Petition drive deadlines; Circulation period

In South Dakota, proponents may circulate petitions for approximately one year. However, proponents begin collecting signatures up to two years prior to the election at which the measure will appear on the ballot. Signatures for proposed statutes must be filed by the first Tuesday of November in the year prior to the election, and signatures for proposed amendments must be filed at least one year prior to the election.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: South Dakota Codified Laws, Title 2, Chapter 1, Section 6.2

Getting on the ballot

Once signatures have been collected, state officials must verify that requirements are met and that fraudulent signatures are excluded. States generally employ a random sample process or a full verification of signatures. After verification, the issue must be prepared for the ballot. This often involves preparing a fiscal review and ballot summary.

Signature verification

See also: Signature certification

Once the signatures have been gathered and filed, the Secretary of State verifies the signatures using a random sample method. At least 5% of the signatures must be sampled. South Dakota law provides that "mere technicalities" cannot invalidate a petition.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: South Dakota Codified Laws, Title 2, Chapter 1, Sections 11, 15, 16 & 17 & South Dakota Administrative Rules, Chapter 5:02:08:00.05

Ballot title and summary

See also: Ballot title

In South Dakota, the descriptive title and summary are prepared upon initial filing. Once a measure has qualified for the ballot, it receives a generic title. In 2004, amendments began receiving consecutive letters starting with "Amendement A." After "Amendment Z," lettering will begin again with "A." In 2004, statutes began receiving consecutive numbers, starting with "Initiated Measure 1." Each measure also receives short statements explaining the meaning of a yes or no vote.

  • A sample ballot can be found here.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: South Dakota Codified Laws, Title 12, Chapter 13, Sections 4, 11 & 25.1

The election and beyond

Ballot measures face additional challenges beyond qualifying for the ballot and receiving a majority of the vote. Several states require ballot measures to get more than a simple majority. While some states mandate a 3/5 supermajority, others states set the margin differently. In addition, ballot measures may face legal challenge or modification by legislators. If a ballot measure does fail, some states limit how soon that initiative can be re-attempted.

Supermajority requirements

See also: Supermajority requirements

In South Dakota, each ballot measure requires only a simple majority of the votes cast for or against it.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: South Dakota Constitution, Article III, Section 3 & South Dakota Codified Laws, Title 2, Chapter 1, Section 12

Effective date

South Dakota ballot measures take effect upon the completion of the official canvas of votes.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: South Dakota Codified Laws, Title 2, Chapter 1, Section 12

Litigation

See also: Ballot measure lawsuit news

Challenges to either the descriptive title or summary should be filed in state circuit court within seven days of the Secretary's receipt of the text from the Attorney General. Such challenges take precedence over other cases and can be appealed to the State Supreme Court. Challenges to the validity of signatures or other petition information should also be filed in circuit court.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: South Dakota Codified Laws, Title 2, Chapter 1, Section 18 & Title 12, Chapter 13, Section 9.2

Legislative tampering

See also: Legislative tampering

The South Dakota State Legislature may repeal an initiated statute with a simple majority vote. In order to change or repeal a constitutional amendment, lawmakers must place an amendment on the ballot via the ordinary referral process (a simple majority vote of each chamber).

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: South Dakota Constitution, Article III, Section 1 & Article XXIII, Section 1

Re-attempting an initiative

South Dakota does not limit how soon an initiative can be re-attempted.[7]

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: South Dakota Constitution, Article III, Section 1 & Article XXIII, Sections 1-3 & South Dakota Codified Laws, Title 2, Chapter 1 & Title 12, Chapter 13

Funding an initiative campaign

See also: Campaign finance requirements for South Dakota ballot measures

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.

State initiative law

Articles III and XXIII of the South Dakota Constitution address initiatives.

Titles 2 and 12 of the South Dakota Codified Laws govern initiatives.

External links

References


Ballot law
BallotLaw final.png
State laws
Initiative law
Recall law
Statutory changes
Court cases
Lawsuit news
Ballot access rulings
Recent court cases
Petitioner access
Ballot title challenges
Superseding initiatives
Signature challenges
Laws governing
local ballot measures
Contents
1 Laws and procedures
2 Changes in the law
2.1 Proposed changes by year
2.1.1 2012
2.1.2 2011
2.1.3 2010

The following laws have been proposed which modify ballot measure law in South Dakota.

Proposed changes by year

2014

See also: Changes in 2014 to laws governing ballot measures



The following bills were introduced in the South Dakota State Legislature:

  1. Approveda HB 1096: Allows and makes changes to the procedure for challenges to sufficiency of signature petitions.

2013

See also: Changes in 2013 to laws governing ballot measures


2012

See also: Changes in 2012 to laws governing ballot measures



The following bills were introduced in the South Dakota State Legislature:

Defeatedd HB 1072: Provides for the recall of county commissioners.

Approveda South Dakota House Bill 1186 (2012): Prohibits registered sex offenders from circulating petitions.

Approveda South Dakota Senate Bill 70 (2012): Revises the procedures for filing referred laws, initiated constitutional amendments, and initiated measures and revises certain election provisions and campaign finance requirements for referred laws, initiated constitutional amendments, and initiated measures.

2011

See also: Changes in 2011 to laws governing ballot measures



The following bills were introduced in the South Dakota State Legislature:

Approveda South Dakota House Bill 1141: Bill description/summary: "An Act to establish a date to begin absentee voting and to revise the deadline for the printing of ballots."


2010

See also: Changes in 2010 to laws governing ballot measures



The following bills were introduced in the South Dakota Legislature:

Approveda South Dakota Senate Bill 13 (2010): SB 13 is a 2010 South Dakota elections reform law that recognized signatures as valid if the signer was on the active voter registration list at the time he or she signed the petition. In addition, the law requires the circulator's signature to be notarized. The law also allows secondary elections which do not involve federal races to use hand counted, rather than electronically marked, ballots. The law also requires the state to produce sample ballots at least 45 days prior to an election. The act also permits voters covered under the "Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act" to request that their ballot be sent electronically. The bill additionally sets procedures for handling absentee ballot which do not meet the legal requirements for opening, and the law details the items county auditors must provide to the recount board.[1][2]

The bill was approved by the South Dakota State Senate on January 21, 2010 by a 33-0 vote. The South Dakota House of Representatives later approved the bill by a 69-1 vote on February 24, 2010[3]. Governor Mike Rounds approved the bill on March 8, 2010[3].