A tale of two ballot measures. Amendment V and Referred Law 19. Either one could make the election longer.

I was speaking with one of our Statewide officials today about the ballot measures, when he brought up an issue I hadn’t considered on Amendment V.  The consequences of V dawned on me, because one of them is being used by a sponsor of Referred Law 19 as a reason to vote against that measure.

On the ballot position statement for Referred Law 19, opponent to the measure Cory Heidelberger notes that the measure needs to be defeated because..

RL 19 moves the deadline for candidate petitions from the end of March to the beginning of March. Candidates for Legislature would have to decide whether to run or not before the Legislative Session ends.

Candidates would lose most of the longer, warmer days of March to circulate petitions. In exchange, RL 19 gives them December, whose short days, cold weather, and holiday busyness make it the worst month for petitioning. These conditions mean fewer candidates will run for office.

Read that here.

Basically, aside from trying to tell us that liberals can’t collect petition signatures in the cold, the argument against it is that “Candidates for Legislature would have to decide whether to run for office before the legislative session ends.

But take a look at Amendment V. In our discussion today, my statewide official friend pointed out thar among the many things V does is trigger and accelerate a race of general election proportions to take place at the time of the primary election – which will have the effect of starting the election process far, far sooner than it would have for many state offices currently selected at the political party conventions.

Ironically, those opposing RL 19 at the same time they support Amendment V ignore  the unalterable reality that Amendment V would trigger a widespread acceleration of all of the statewide races, including and especially constitutional offices, which had previously not had primary elections in early June.

If Amendment V passes, look for the election process for all of these offices to begin earlier than ever in 2017, with potentially earlier petition collection being sought by all of the statewide candidates, since they would want to have that process out of the way before they began their campaigns in earnest.

When it comes to the ballot measures, it’s ok to want the length of the election to stay the same. But, if that’s the case, you can’t oppose RL19, and support Amendment V.  Because the passage of either would have similar effects on lengthening the election season for South Dakotans.

2 Replies to “A tale of two ballot measures. Amendment V and Referred Law 19. Either one could make the election longer.”

  1. Anonymous

    I wish 19 would have been broken up into 3 or 4 parts as some parts are not controversial , but like many of these measures it has either too much stuff or controversial stuff in it.

    Who cares about having to hand in petitions on the date they are due vs mailing them in….I haven’t heard anyone speak against that….in 19.

    Starting earlier was to find a solution to the Bosworth problem of not having enough time to challenge petitions if there were some problems…Cory h is being typically hypocritical…we need to challenge Bosworth in 2014…but then when the Legislature comes up with a solution to start earlier to have time to do that…he complains that “it’s too cold” to start in December (vs January–are you kidding me ?)

    Third is the one the Democrats don’t like it is the one the tightened up how they can replace a candidate. Now they have a strategy of throwing the same person they have for 5-6 cycles and then as late as August they switch them out for someone fresh and who is actually going to run. So you win your primary run against someone for 2 months and spend money and then all of a sudden they switch out…much like Indiana US Senate race this year…Dems losing so they switch out for frmr Senator Byah to try and win.

    Lastly, is where the Dems get hypocritical if they are against 19 but for V. In 19 they scream you are being mean to Independents and in V they make it harder for them to run as a candidate themselves.

    19–just like the parties Independents have to get signature from other Independents, just like any of th 4 parties have to get signatures from their members…..

    but then in V—-everyone is going to need to get more signatures….a little provision no one is talking about but if all running together then it is likely to be 1% signatures of all that ran for governor last time, not just 1% of the party who ran last time. So this year GOP needed roughly 1955 signatures to run for Senator & Dems needed 706….add those together and since we did have an Independent in 2014 add 1% of his also (114)–and you need roughly 2755 signatures…..but then it is harder for Independents to make the general election under V as they have to battle with 4 parties to try and get one of the 2 slots….

    So Dems complain 19 makes it harder for Dems to make the ballot UNFAIR; but we make it harder for them to make the general…that is FAIR…excuse me…huh?!

    If the Democrat party is against 19 to help Independent candidates then they should be against V to help Independent candidates maintain their general election ballot access….

  2. Adam Zobel

    You want to shorten the campaign? Move the primary back to late August. A five month general election campaign is too long.