South Dakotans Launch Effort to Oppose Amendment V

Vote_no_on_VSouth Dakotans Launch Effort to Oppose Amendment V

Pierre, South Dakota – August 2, 2016 – A group of South Dakotans have organized to oppose Constitutional Amendment V, a measure before South Dakota’s voters in November, saying it would eliminate South Dakota’s primary system and strip voters of the right to know candidates’ party affiliation.

“Amendment V is an anti-transparency measure that would permanently institute a California- style primary system and hide candidates’ party affiliation from South Dakota voters” said Will Mortenson, Chairman of

Amendment V would amend South Dakota’s constitution to merge the Republican and Democratic primaries into one primary in which all candidates compete. The top two finishers in that combined primary would then compete in the November general election. This is similar to elections in California.

“Why would we amend our state constitution to try to be more like California, a state mired in political gridlock and debt?” asked Mortenson.

Amendment V would also strip the voters’ right to know candidates’ party affiliation when they review the ballot.

“The chief supporter of this ill-conceived amendment is failed U.S. Senate candidate and liberal Democrat activist Rick Weiland,” Mortenson noted, “and his motivation is clear: change the rules so Democrats can hide their party affiliation from voters in the voting booth.”

The committee advocating for Amendment V has raised 76% of their funds from out-of-state and has raised 92.5% from organizations with undisclosed donors.

“This is a classic case of hide the ball,” says State Senator Corey Brown, “an anti-transparency measure funded by undisclosed, out-of-state money.”

United States Senator John Thune, Governor Dennis Daugaard, and Congresswoman Kristi Noem have all voiced strong opposition to Amendment V and its negative impact on ballot transparency. South Dakota Farm Bureau and the South Dakota Association of Cooperatives have likewise officially opposed the measure.

Voters should visit to find more information.

18 Replies to “South Dakotans Launch Effort to Oppose Amendment V”

  1. Anonymous

    Just let me know if a candidate voted for Barack Hussein Obama twice, and I’ll know to NOT vote for them. “Nuff said.

  2. Anonymous

    Despite all the doom and gloom of Mr. Mortensen, the system works well in Nebraska, a solid red state. However, if anything is going to be changed it should be the reduction of the state legislature to a 70 seat Unicameral. There is no point for bureaucratic redundancy in a state this small.

    1. Anonymous

      Nebraska is predominantly Republican, but because of its so-called nonpartisan nature, its legislature is very liberal, especially relative to the state’s population. Nebraska’s legislature is not an example to be emulated. It is one to be avoided!

      1. Anonymous

        I’m curious how a 36 to 13 Republican supermajority is considered liberal. This 73% R majority in the NE unicameral is also greater than the 48% to 31% majority the party enjoys statewide in voter registration.

        1. Anonymous

          You make the mistake of assuming that Republicans are conservative. The legislature is liberal because of the legislation that its members pass. Democrats also hold, or at least did the last time that I checked, a majority of the chairmen/women positions.

          1. Anonymous

            Liberal legislation? NE has shown greater fiscal responsibility than SD. Last I checked, NE doesn’t go crawling to the federal government for education for money through Common Core and isn’t actively flirting with medicaid expansion.

            Also, Democrats hold 4 of 14 committee chairs in NE. I don’t know when you last checked, but at no point in the past decade has that been true. There’s a search bar in your browser. Use it.


            1. Anonymous

              repealed Capital Punishment

              High vehicle taxes

              State income tax

              All things that NE has or has done recently… thanks….

  3. Troy Jones

    Will Mortenson is a most talented young man.

    Corey Brown nailed it with regard to its blatant anti-transparent attempt to deny information to voters.

    The irony is rich it is promoted by out-of-state dark money by those who claim to be against such money. Rick Weiland doesn’t have the personal integrity of Bernie Sanders and explains his support for dark money Hillary.

    And, who cares if it “works” in Nebraska or California? Last time I looked, I live in South Dakota with its own tradition. If they like their system, they can keep it. I don’t care. But stay out of my business.

  4. Anonymous

    VOTE NO on V! Worst one of them all…..

    So lets tell voters less; lets run essentially 2 general elections; lets increase the cost of elections by having open primaries…

    I went and read the campaign fiance reports on the SOS website and I encourage everyone else to do the same…outside money is right….and a lot of it.

  5. Adam Zobel

    I plan to vote no on V, but SD should evaluate its electoral process to see if updates are needed, especially since large numbers of legislative seats end up unopposed every election cycle. For example, a later primary date and filing deadline would allow for candidates to better assess the political landscape (instead of legislators filing for reelection during the legislative session period).

    If V does pass for some reason, the SDGOP will adapt, probably by endorsing primary candidates and possibly moving the primary back to August.

  6. Springer

    I have two relatives who will vote for this simply because they are tired of political parties and want to do away with them, and they think this will accomplish this. I tried to tell them that whether or not there are political parties, there are and will always be different political philosophies. I also tried to tell them that voters deserve to know which political ideology a candidate basically identifies with. But to no avail. They say they will vote for the person they like the best (but unless they do their homework – and I don’t think most voters do – they will not know a candidate’s basic ideology which is a good predictor of how they will vote on issues) They think that simply doing away with the political party label will make us all get along together and everything will be kumbaya.

    However, all this proposed amendment would do is allow less transparency in government. And of course, give the Dems a better chance to get elected in SD. But the reason they are having trouble in SD is that the Dem party of old has been replaced by a socialist ideology, which goes against the grain of most South Dakotans. Weiland knows this too, thus this amendment.

  7. Wazzzuupp

    Will is talented but has been blindly walked into a trap by the establishment hell-bent on retaining power. 2016, in case you haven’t noticed, is a wave election. Republicans I talk to are embracing this because they believe in competition and the very American principle of letting everybody vote. Lots of big names getting behind the Yes crowd — have to admit it is impressive.

  8. Springer

    Everybody can vote now. If you don’t like either the D or R candidate and that is all that is available and you are an independent, you don’t have to cast a vote. If you are independent, then get an independent candidate to run and you can vote for him/her. If you are registered R and want to vote for the D candidate, you can change your registration; pretty simple. And vice versa. I still believe that a voter deserves to know the political leanings of all candidates; not just vote for someone because they know him/her, like one thing the candidate has said but no nothing else about him/her, like the color of his skin or his religion etc, or any other reason people vote. As a conservative, I might actually like something that Obama says (he is a gifted orator), but if I didn’t know what his political leanings were and voted for him simply because of that one thing, I would be in for a big surprise after the election (and many people were duped just exactly that way). Vote NO!

    1. Anonymous

      Voting for someone because they have a (D) or (R) after their name is no better, it doesn’t encapsulate an individual’s complete political ideology. Caleb Frinck (R) and Stace Nelson (R) are not the politically identical. How can someone argue against voting based on “one thing,” yet argue for the sanctity of a letter after a candidate’s name as the only “one thing” that must be included on the ballot?

      1. Anonymous

        Joining this conversation….it is not just a one thing of the letter behind their name…it is that all the candidates then have to run together….in effect 2 general elections….a lot more expenses fighting off multiple candidates…further discouraging people to run….

        Also I see they want the Constitutional Officers to do this also…..heck who gives money to the Auditor or Treasurer or PUC for some of these campaigns now…nothing against our fine officials in these jobs but then they would have to raise a lot more money also …let alone they have to be open primaries instead of conventions…..another provision that is wrong for South Dakota and screams another reason to vote NO! on V!

  9. Springer

    No, it doesn’t encapsulate their complete ideology, but it does give a pretty good idea of which way they lean, either liberal or conservative. And people have a right to know that. And you are right about R in South Dakota; there are many D’s who decide to run as an R in order to get elected. And there is a wide spectrum in the R’s in SD. If there was a wide spectrum in the D’s in SD, and if their party hadn’t turned so far left they would have a better chance of raising money and getting elected. Again, thus the reason for Weiland’s pushing this ballot measure. Just follow the money, or lack of in the Dems case, and the reason is obvous.