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Rasoul public primary amendment game-changer for partisanship

Posted by jesse shayne on September 19, 2016 at 1:31 PM

This article was published by the Augusta Free Press

Rasoul says this reform of the election process will help limit partisanship in both campaigns and government.

“Legislators have little incentive to compromise. Our broken primary system rewards partisanship over the needs of the people,” said Rasoul. “Now more than ever, we need to restore trust in politics. This can be done by giving more power back to the voters with reform that generates more competitions and choice for citizens. By creating a system that does not favor partisan fringes in primaries, we can ensure the majority of citizens have their voice heard. This method has shown very positive results in states like Nebraska.”

Also known as “Top 2” or “open” primaries, all candidates for an office would participate in the same “public” primary with the top two vote-getters advancing to the general election, regardless of party. This can produce two Democrats, two Republicans, or some other combination running against each other in the general election, forcing the debate to be less extreme as more of the focus shifts to the needs of the majority.

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OUR VIEW: Amendment V good choice for SD

Posted by jesse shayne on September 16, 2016 at 10:00 AM

This article was published by the Daily Republic Editorial Board

Now here's something conservatives, moderates and liberals can agree on.

This November, South Dakotans will head to polling places with chance to step away from the partisan bickering that pervades our federal and state government at every turn.

With that in mind, we believe Amendment V is good for South Dakotans. Amendment V, which is backed by various Republicans, independents and Democrats, would remove a candidate's political party affiliation from the ballot, forcing candidates to depend on their qualifications and ideas rather than relying on the political machine to propel them into office.

We know South Dakotans are capable of making intelligent choices whether a political party is listed on the ballot or not. But removing the party label — a designation that pigeonholes our legislators into a rigid set of ideas they feel they must stick to in an effort to avoid backlash from their fellow party members — lawmakers would be beholden to the voters of South Dakota, not their political party.

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Joint endorsement for Amendment V

Posted by jesse shayne on September 14, 2016 at 11:20 AM

This article was written by Scott Gross for Kota TV

Sioux Falls, S.D. ( KOTA TV ) The announcement came Tuesday morning in Sioux Falls from the League of Women Voters of South Dakota and AARP South Dakota.

Both organizations said it is time every voter had a voice.

Most of South Dakota’s elections are effectively decided in closed partisan primaries, leaving many feeling voters are left without a voice.

Only about eight of South Dakota’s 105 legislative elections feature competitive races, with more than one third of candidates running unopposed after the primary.

This will give those 115,000 voters in south dakota who are independants who feel that the parties don't represent what they are doing, can make thier voice heard." Chuck Parkinson, a member of the ballot committee said.

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AARP, League of Women Voters endorse nonpartisan races

Posted by jesse shayne on September 13, 2016 at 5:38 PM

This article was written by Dana Ferguson for the Argus Leader

Two statewide groups announced their support Tuesday for a constitutional amendment aimed at removing partisan designations from primary ballots.

At a news conference in Sioux Falls, the South Dakota League of Women Voters and AARP South Dakota said they planned to back the constitutional amendment and encourage their membership to vote "Yes" on the measure.

If approved, the amendment would create a single primary for state races in which candidates appeared on the ballot without party designation. The two candidates with the most votes would move on to the general election regardless of party affiliation.

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AARP, League of Women Voters back nonpartisan election plan

Posted by jesse shayne on September 13, 2016 at 5:37 PM

This article was published by the Sioux City Journal

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Two South Dakota nonpartisan groups will be supporting a constitutional amendment that would remove candidates' party affiliations from primary and general election ballots, supporters said Tuesday.

AARP South Dakota and the League of Women Voters of South Dakota said that passing the amendment would help give roughly 115,000 independent voters — roughly 21 percent of the state's total — an equal voice in the electoral process. If approved in the November election, the amendment would establish a nonpartisan primary that would send the top vote-getters to the general election; it wouldn't apply to presidential races.

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South Dakota League of Women Voters, AARP Say Nonpartisan Elections Are Best for All Voters

Posted by jesse shayne on September 13, 2016 at 5:33 PM

This article was written by Shawn Griffiths for the Independent Voter Network

Sioux Falls, S.D. – Amendment V Nonpartisan Elections in South Dakota received two major endorsements Tuesday. The South Dakota League of Women Voters and AARP South Dakota announced their support for Amendment V, citing the 115,000 independent voters who are largely excluded from the current system. Both organizations say nonpartisan election reform is best for all voters.

“The South Dakota League of Women Voters has long worked to expand participatory democracy,” said League of Women Voters Spokesperson Amy Scott Stoltz. “Our core focus is ensuring all South Dakotans have a direct voice in choosing their elected representatives. Amendment V – Nonpartisan Elections gives every South Dakota voter that voice.”

“AARP South Dakota is focused on providing tangible benefits for our members. Passing Amendment V will provide a benefit that, in reality, is a fundamental American right – the ability to fully participate in our elections. Passing Amendment V will give more than 115,000 South Dakota Independents equal access to the electoral process,” said AARP South Dakota State Director Erik Gaikowski.

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Schwarzenegger joins calls for Johnson to be included in presidential debates

Posted by jesse shayne on September 10, 2016 at 9:33 AM

This article was written for the Wire Update

Actor and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has joined calls for Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson to be included in the upcoming debates, saying the country benefits from an open conversation.

"The American people want to hear the voices of Governors Gary Johnson and Bill Weld in the debates this fall," Schwarzenegger said in a Facebook post. He cited a recent USA Today poll that indicated that as many as 76 percent of voters want third-party candidates to be included in the debates.

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Why the Voter Rebellion is Alive and Being Led … by South Dakota!

Posted by jesse shayne on September 07, 2016 at 11:13 AM

This article was written by Open Primaries Director of National Outreach Jason Olson for the Independent Voter Network

While no longer operative in the presidential election, the voter rebellion witnessed during the primaries is alive and well. South Dakota is now the epicenter, where Amendment V for Nonpartisan Elections gives voters the chance to reclaim their elections from the political establishment and send a message to Washington.

To many around the country, South Dakota would seem an unlikely place to be leading the voter rebellion. But the state best known for Mount Rushmore has a famous and historic independent streak: in 1898 it was the first state to pass the voter initiative process, helping to begin the Progressive Movement where women finally won the right to vote, and voters passed a series of reforms aimed at taking away power from the party establishment, including the initiative, referendum, recall, and nonpartisan local elections.

This year, South Dakota voters have an opportunity to remake the state’s partisan primary system. Like many states, South Dakota currently has closed partisan primaries that nominate candidates loyal to the Republican and Democratic parties. Amendment V for Nonpartisan Elections, on the November ballot, would replace that with a nonpartisan election system that allows all voters to participate and elect public servants rather than party servants.

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