South 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 VoteNoOnV.com.
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 www.VoteNoOnV.com to find more information.