About those ballot issues…

Last night was one of the wildest rides I can remember in a while. As a Republican, I felt good about going into election night… and I felt even better this morning when I saw that the GOP actually picked up seats. I’ve always operated under the assumption that political balance is a pendulum, and it would swing back to fewer Republicans, so it’s important to work to create a bulwark against that.

Except, one factor I have forgotten to take into account is the South Dakota Democrat Party giving up any illusion of running candidates for office. And so the new normal is 10-15 House members, and 5-10 Senators. The question for the GOP is whether they’re able to keep Democrat numbers down, and hold the caucus together.

What was more in doubt last night were the ballot issues, and we ended up with some surprising results.

AMENDMENT R – The Tech School change fared more poorly than a measure with no true opposition should, although it still won at 50.6% to 49.4%

AMENDMENT S, or Marsy’s Law won handily on a 60-40% basis. Call it the Kelsey Grammer effect. It was a good ad.

AMENDMENT T for redistricting, which I had pegged as winning, lost 57-43%. It had only token opposition, but maybe that’s all it needed.

AMENDMENT U, placing statutory interest rates for Loans into the constitution fared poorly, losing 63-37%

AMENDMENT V which hid party label on the ballot went down 55-45%.

INITIATED MEASURE 21 was a blowout at 76%-24%, placing maximum finance charges on certain licensed money lenders. This was a bit surprising to me, as South Dakotans aren’t apt to ban entire industries, but apparently, they are.

An even bigger surprise is INITIATED MEASURE 22, which creates a publicly funded campaign finance program, won 52-48%. Of the three measures coming from Rick Weiland, this and Amendment V had the fiercest and most direct opposition, and most of us thought T would be the one to pass, not IM22.

Before it’s implemented, I suspect IM22’s public campaign component will face opposition and removal. It’s kind of hard to even think of programs such as Medicaid expansion when $12-50 million is stripped from the budget for politician’s political campaigns…. But, we’ll see.

INITIATED MEASURE 23 to allow Unions to force membership fees went down hard. 80-20%.

And no one cared about the other two on the ballot by this point, so expectedly Referred Law 19 & Referred Law 20 both lost.

What are your thoughts on these ballot issues?

18 Replies to “About those ballot issues…”

  1. Springer

    I hope the legislature has the good sense to strip the public funding out of IM 22. As I posted elsewhere, with projected less revenue than anticipated, just what part of state govt is willing to give up part of its funding to fund the “democracy credits?” And don’t think for a minute that a tax increase for this will go down people’s gullet.

  2. Tyler Schumacher

    12-50 million? The cap is 12 million, and there is no way that enough people will participate to hit the cap. And in order to take the money candidates have to agree to stricter campaign finance measures. I’m not saying I think it’s a great idea, but it’s not going to be that costly.

    1. Pat Powers Post author


      Ben Lee, with Americans for Prosperity South Dakota, says the fifty dollar democracy credits are misleading…

      “It doesn’t sound like a lot, but like most government bureaucracy, it does add up,” Lee says. “Two, fifty dollar democracy credits, or $100 per person—there are over 500,000 registered voters in South Dakota. If every one of them participated, that would be $50-million. Now, the measure says it would be capped at $12-million. So, I’m not sure if they’re trying to exclude some people from participating, or if their math is off. But even at $12-million, that’s a huge chunk of money that could be going to more important priorities.”

      Lee says he’s not convinced the proponents completely understand how the measure works.

  3. Anonymous

    Nice job by a number of people on these ballot measures…a lot of hard work looks to have paid off against most of them…

    Shout out to Dave Roetman, Sen-elect Jim Bolin, Jason Ravnsborg, Will Mortenson, Ryan Budmayer and Rich Hilgeman and the many organizations involved in assisting and all the people of South Dakota that saw through these measures and defeated Amendments T, V and 23. I am sure there are more, but let us also celebrate what we did beat also…not just the one we lost (22)

  4. Anonymous

    R—i thought would roll up a 70% win, but it was a bit confusing….a win for Mikelson

    22—a loss for AFP and also Larry Rhoden; I am surprised it passed….

    1. Fled to Red

      AMENDMENT R – The Tech School change fared more poorly than a measure with no true opposition should, although it still won at 50.6% to 49.4%

      R—i thought would roll up a 70% win, but it was a bit confusing…

      Maybe deflated by the “just vote no on everything” campaign?

    1. Anonymous

      When S starts costing taxpayers and law enforcement communities big dollars during the governors race and Jackley’s campaign manager is responsible for the cost increase then it will be an issue for the governors race.

    1. Anonymous

      joke only—half price sale at payday loans only 287% until the law goes into effect…come make a deal people LOL

      It iwll be interesting to see if this does put them out of business or not

  5. The Blogger Formerly Known as "Winston"

    Hooray! The ethics commission is back!…. The post Janklow era has finally begun!

  6. Anonymous

    The legislators should also strip out the reporting of donations to non-profit groups since it is a violation of the First and Ninth Amendments. Doing so will also save the state millions of dollars in a court challenge.

    1. Anonymous

      If 22 is unconstitutional as jackley said on the ballot then why hasn’t he challenged it?

      Where is Jackley?