South Dakota Voter Initiatives


Law and Practice for South Dakota Petition Initiatives

State Constitution

State I & R Laws

State Election Laws 

Pre-petitioning Requirements

Petition Forms

Circulating Petitions

Campaign Finance

Deadlines for 2008 

INITIATED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS

33,551 signatures (10% of 2006 vote for governor). Signatures must be filed by November 5, 2007.

The petition containing the text of the proposed amendment and the names and addresses of its sponsors shall be filed at least one year before the next general election at which the proposed amendment is submitted to the voters. 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.

INITIATIVE LEGISLATION PETITIONS

16,776 signatures collected within one year following filing of the full text with the Secretary of State (5% of 2006 vote for governor). Signatures must be filed by April 1, 2008.

...the people expressly reserve to themselves the right to propose measures, which shall be submitted to a vote of the electors of the state, and also the right to require that any laws which the Legislature may have enacted shall be submitted to a vote of the electors of the state before going into effect, except such laws as may be necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety, support of the state government and its existing public institutions. Not more than five percent of the qualified electors of the state shall be required to invoke either the initiative or the referendum.
     This section shall not be construed so as to deprive the Legislature or any member thereof of the right to propose any measure. The veto power of the Executive shall not be exercised as to measures referred to a vote of the people. This section shall apply to municipalities. The enacting clause of all laws approved by vote of the electors of the state shall be: "Be it enacted by the people of South Dakota." The Legislature shall make suitable provisions for carrying into effect the provisions of this section. 

§ 21.   One subject expressed in title. No law shall embrace more than one subject, which shall be expressed in its title.
 

Initiated Measure

This is a petition to add to, amend, or repeal existing state statutes. Initiative petitions must be filed in the office of the Secretary of State by the first Tuesday in April of a general election year (SDCL 2-1-2). The petition must have signatures of registered voters equal to five percent (16,776) of the total vote for governor in the last gubernatorial election obtained within one year following the filing of the full text of the petition. No signatures may be obtained more than 19 months preceding the election date designated on the petition.

Referred Law

This is a petition to prevent a measure passed by the Legislature from becoming effective. It must have signatures of registered voters equal to five percent (16,776) of the total vote for governor in the last gubernatorial election and must be filed within 90 days of adjournment of the legislative session in which the measure was passed (SDCL 2-1-4). Measures which may be necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions are not subject to referendum (SD Const., Art. III, Sec. 1).

Initiated Constitutional Amendment

This is a petition proposing to amend, repeal, or add to provisions in the South Dakota state constitution. The petition must have signatures of registered voters equal to ten percent (33,551) of the total vote for governor in the last gubernatorial election and must be filed in the Secretary of State's office one year before the general election (SD Const., Art. XXIII, Sec. 1). No signatures may be obtained more than 24 months preceding the election date designated on the petition.

                                                                                                      Campaign Finance Requirements

 
 12-27-3.   Statement of organization and candidate campaign committee required--Exception-- Violation as misdemeanor. A political committee shall file a statement of organization with the secretary of state not later than fifteen days after the date upon which the committee made contributions, received contributions, or paid expenses in excess of five hundred dollars unless such activity falls within thirty days of any statewide election in which case the statement of organization shall be filed within forty-eight hours. Any candidate for public office shall organize a candidate campaign committee not later than fifteen days after becoming a candidate and shall file a statement of organization with the secretary of state. A political committee that regularly files a campaign finance disclosure statement with the Federal Election Commission is not required to file a statement of organization. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.
(19)      "Political committee," any candidate campaign committee, political action committee, or ballot question committee; (This is from SDCL 12-27-1 - Definitions)

                                                                                             Administrative Rules - Petition Verification Process

  

          5:02:08:00.  Guidelines for acceptance of petitions. When a petition is presented for filing, the person or governing board authorized to accept the petition for filing shall determine if it meets the following requirements for acceptance:

     (1)  The petition is in the form required by this chapter;

     (2)  The petition contains the minimum number of valid signatures, counted according to § 5:02:08:00.01. One or more invalid signatures on a petition section do not disallow other valid signatures on the section;

      (3)  Each section of the petition contains an identical heading and is verified by the circulator. The circulator may add the addresses of the petitioners and the dates of signing before completing the verification. The circulator may also add the printed name of the signer and the county of voter registration. Residence addresses may be abbreviated. Dates may be in numbers, but must include month, day, and year. The verification was completed and signed before an officer authorized to administer oaths;

     (4)  The declaration of candidacy contains the original signature of the candidate. Additional sections may have an original or photocopied signature of the candidate;

    (5)  If a petition is for a ballot question to be voted on statewide, the signatures were obtained after a copy of the text of the petition was filed with the secretary of state;

    (6)  The governing board or person authorized by statute to accept the petition shall, if requested, allow a petition circulator the opportunity to add missing information on the signature lines or circulator's verification on his or her petition provided the filing deadline has not passed; and

    (7)  Following the presentation of the petition for filing, names may not be removed from the petition.

 

          Except for petitions to nominate candidates for school boards, the person who is authorized to accept petitions for filing need not check for voter registration of the signers. Petitions containing signatures in excess of the minimum number may be filed, but the excess signatures will be disregarded.

 

5:02:08:00.01.  

Requirements for counting signatures on petitions. 

Requirements for counting signatures on a petition sheet are as follows:

          (1)  No signature on a petition sheet may be counted if one of the following conditions is present:

     (a)  The form of the petition does not meet the requirements of this chapter;

      (b)  The circulator's verification is not completed or is improperly completed, according to subdivision 5:02:08:00(3) unless the missing information is completed elsewhere on the petition sheet. A completed circulator's verification must include the printed name of the circulator, the circulator's residence address as provided in subdivision 5:02:08:00.01(2)(c), and complete date; or

     (c)  The declaration of candidacy has not been completed on or after the first date authorized by statute to circulate the petition, and signed by the candidate and the signature witnessed by an official empowered to administer oaths in South Dakota; and

 

          (2)  An individual signature on a petition sheet may not be counted if one of the following conditions is present:

     (a)  It was signed prior to the signing of the candidate's declaration of candidacy or, if for a ballot question, it was signed before a copy of the text was filed with the secretary of state;

     (b)  It was signed after the circulator completed the verification;

   (c)  The residence address does not include a street and house number or a rural route and box number and the town. If the signer is a resident of a second or third class municipality, a post office box number may be used. If the signer does not have a residence address or post office box number, a description of the residence location must be provided. If the signer is a resident of a building with a publicly known name, the building name may be used;

      (d)  The date of signing, including month and day, is not indicated;

      (e)  The signer's name is not printed and legible; or

      (f)  The signer's county of voter registration is not provided.