Posted by Kellie Ryan on November 10, 2015 at 5:47 PM
South Dakotans for a Nonpartisan Democracy Submit over 39,000 Signatures to South Dakota Secretary of State Krebs
November 9, 2015—Sioux Falls, SD – South Dakotans for a Nonpartisan Democracy, made up of a broad coalition of Republicans, Democrats and Independents, submitted over 39,000signatures to the South Dakota Secretary of State’s Office today to place a proposed amendment to establish nonpartisan elections on the 2016 general election ballot.
Rick Knobe, Sioux Falls radio talk show host, former Mayor of Sioux Falls, and a registered Independent serving as chair of the coalition, announced that 39,182 --10,000 more than the required 27,741--were hand-delivered to Secretary of State, Shantel Krebs, today at 2:00pm.
The proposed constitutional amendment would establish an open, nonpartisan primary where voters choose individual legislative and statewide candidates based on their ideas and merit, regardless of political party. The top two candidates receiving the most votes would then compete in the general election.
"An increasing number of South Dakotans are convinced that the political status quo in Pierre and in Washington is no longer viable," Knobe said, "and our initiative will make several positive changes, including:
1) allowing every South Dakotan to vote in primary elections, regardless of partisan registration
2) changing the South Dakota Legislature into a nonpartisan body, just as the nonpartisan initiative passed in Nebraska in 1934 has effectively done there
3) dispensing with the need for partisan caucuses, as it has in Nebraska, thus ensuring that public policy will no longer be made behind closed doors
4) allowing members of both political parties to chair legislative committees; and
5) sending a message to Washington, DC that South Dakotans are not happy with the partisan division and gridlock that has undermined our system of government."
"South Dakotans for a Nonpartisan Democracy looks forward to a vigorous debate of the issues once the Secretary of State certifies our amendment as having met the required signature numbers. The people of South Dakota and the United States deserve a government that works in their interest, and our nonpartisan primary measure will go a long ways to restoring our faith in our political institutions,” Knobe concluded.