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First 2018 Ballot Question Petition Validated by Secretary of State

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, December 29, 2017
CONTACT: Kristin Gabriel at (605) 773-3537 or Kristin.Gabriel@state.sd.us

PIERRE, S.D. – Today, Secretary of State Shantel Krebs announced that the petition submitted for an initiated amendment to the South Dakota Constitution changing campaign finance and lobbying laws, creating a government accountability board, and changing certain initiative and referendum provisions was validated and filed by her office. It is the first ballot question to be placed on the November 6, 2018 General Election Ballot. It will be Constitutional Amendment W.

“My staff have been working diligently to review petitions,” stated Secretary Krebs. “An Initiated Constitutional Amendment requires 27,741 valid signatures in order to be placed on the ballot. This initiated constitutional amendment petition included 49,966 signatures. We reviewed a random sample of signatures, and 71.37 percent were found to be valid.”

Any citizen may challenge the Secretary of State’s approval of a ballot measure and must submit an original, signed affidavit to the South Dakota Secretary of State’s office within 30 days of validation. Electronic submission of affidavits will not be accepted. In this case, the deadline for a challenge would be Monday, January 29, 2018 by 5 p.m. central time.

The remaining seven petitions will be reviewed by the Secretary of State’s office in the order in which they were received. The South Dakota Legislature also has the ability to include constitutional amendments on the 2018 ballot and South Dakota citizens have the ability to submit a referendum petition concerning laws passed during the 2018 Legislative session.

For more detailed information on potential 2018 Ballot Questions, visit https://sdsos.gov/elections-voting/upcoming-elections/general-information/2018-ballot-questions.aspx


2-1-17.1. Submission of affidavit challenging petition to secretary of state--Appeal. Within thirty days after a statewide petition for an initiated constitutional amendment, initiated measure, or referendum has been validated and filed, any interested person who has researched the signatures contained on the petition may submit an affidavit to the Office of Secretary of State to challenge the petition. The affidavit shall include an itemized listing of each specific deficiency in question. Any challenge to the following items is prohibited under this challenge process:

(1) Signer does not live at address listed on the petition;

(2) Circulator does not live at address listed on the petition;

(3) Circulator listed a residence address in South Dakota but is not a South Dakota resident;

(4) Circulator did not witness the signers;

(5) Signatures not included in the random sample; and

(6) Petition that was originally rejected.

Any challenge by the same person or party in interest shall be included in one affidavit.

The original signed affidavit shall be received by the Office of Secretary of State by 5:00 p.m. central time on the deadline date. If the affidavit challenges any item that is prohibited by this section, only that line item shall summarily be rejected. A challenge to a line item is not a challenge to the petition as a whole.

The secretary of state's decision regarding a challenge may not be challenged a second time with the secretary of state, but may be appealed to the circuit court of Hughes County. If a person fails to challenge a petition pursuant to this section, it does not deny that person any other legal remedy to challenge the filing of an initiative or referendum petition in circuit court. A challenge to a petition in circuit court may include items prohibited in this section.


Secretary of State Shantel Krebs, Deputy Secretary of Elections Kea Warne and State Election Coordinator Christine Lehrkamp receiving petitions from ballot question sponsor Mitch Richter on October 18, 2017.