Bipartisan pitch for nonpartisan elections in South Dakota - Open Primaries
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Posted by Russell Daniels on May 11, 2016 at 11:51 PM


Bipartisan pitch for nonpartisan elections in South Dakota

This article was written by Mark Russo for

Sioux Falls, SD (KELO-AM) Two Republican state lawmakers from Nebraska are helping South Dakota Democrat Rick Weiland pitch Amendment V to South Dakota voters.

Amendment V would make state elections nonpartisan - no more Republican or Democrat - just the names of the candidates. Weiland and his team collected enough signatures to get it on the November ballot.

Nebraska has a unicameral state legislature that has been officially nonpartisan for decades.

"You are not constrained by a party caucus that is basically telling you how to vote", said State Senator Galen Hadley on the Monday morning edition of KELO Radio's Greg Belfrage Show. The idea, Hadley says, is more what is the bill rather than what does the party think of the bill.

Hadley was joined on the show by fellow Nebraska State Senator Colby Cash, and by Weiland, a former Democratic U.S. Senate candidate.

"When you approach people and say this gives you an opportunity to vote for the person, not the party, I didn't have anyone turn us down" said Weiland on the Belfrage Show, describing the response to the petition drive. He says people are fed up with partisan politics.   

Critics of Amendment V argue, in part, that it is just the Democrats trying to get more power by coming through the back door in South Dakota, a state that is heavily Republican.

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