Will 10 minute limit at the ballot booth encourage “no” voting on ballot measures?

Did you catch the story this AM at rapidcityjournal.com about the 10 minute statutory limit on the amount of time we have to vote:

It took me nearly 20 minutes, and that was only to decipher the scaled-down version of the numerous and complicated measures on the Nov. 8 ballot.

The problem is, according to South Dakota state statute 12-18-15, which carries the ominous heading, “Voting without delay — Maximum time in booth or machine — Re-entry prohibited,” by law I’ll only have 10 minutes to cast my ballot that Tuesday.

Forget the contentious presidential election. Discount the congressional races. Disregard who is running for the state Legislature or the PUC. Those are easy decisions.

But South Dakota voters should be very afraid of the 10 constitutional amendments, referred laws and initiated measures facing South Dakota voters in this year’s general election. I know I am.

“The person voting shall cast his vote without delay,” the 1993 law commands. “No voter may occupy a voting booth or voting machine already occupied by another, nor occupy a voting booth or machine for more than 10 minutes.

Read it here.

A statutory 10 minutes to vote? That’s an interesting law that I dont think has ever come up before. But, this is an unusual year when we’ve been innundated with ballot measures.

The Secretary of State claims that the law wont’t be enforced. She can provide suggestions, but, I don’t think law enforcement is her department. And voting occurs at the county level.

That’s not to say that I think anyone is going to be arrested for it. States’ Attorneys have better things to do. But, the law exists.

With that fact of the ten minute time limit coming to light, I don’t think people out there want to break the law. So do you think there will be a new pressure for voters to just get through it?

And if so, will it mean that more people will just opt to vote “No on everything?”

18 thoughts on “Will 10 minute limit at the ballot booth encourage “no” voting on ballot measures?

  1. Anonymous

    Whatever it takes to get people to VOTE NO ON EVERYTHING is fine with me..some of these are SIMPLY AWFUL….Republicans have come out against a number of them publicly I have seen (T, V, 22) and Democrats are going to get screwed over on T and V also. Why would either party vote for these? Not a good way to make law.

    1. Anonymous

      Cliff, don’t vote for Marsy’s Law. It is unnecessary. Victims of violent crime already have the rights in statute. It also has a terrible definition of victim that will get stuck in the constitution. The South Dakota State’s Attorney’s Association, the defense attorneys group, and the whole State Bar voted to oppose it. This is an issue in SD only because a California billionaire is trying to get this passed everywhere and is funding the campaign. If it passes, counties will have to hire more staff to handle the increased workload. Vote No on S.

    2. Michael Wyland

      Marsy’s Law is a disaster on steroids, requiring endless judicial interpretation of its vague terms to place “guarantees” in the Constitution, most of which are already present in South Dakota state statute.

      BTW, has anyone involved in the right to life issue thought about the potential impact of inserting a “right to privacy” in the SD Constitution? Marsy’s Law explicitly does this.

      1. Victim

        Marsy’s Law is settled law. Arizona has had similar laws in their constitution, including the exact same privacy provision, for 26 years and they have not been challenged. California has had Marsy’s Law for 8 years with none of the problems opponents claim will happen. Judges and prosecutors in state’s with Marsy’s Law say the claims against Marsy’s Law never materialized. Even the president of the National District Attorney’s Association has endorsed it.

        1. Michael Wyland

          Marsy’s Law is actually different in each of the very few states that have enacted it. Calling it “settled law” is incorrect on two counts: 1) it’s not a single model law; and 2) just because something has been litigated in another state doesn’t mean that the issue is settled in other states. Although a non-lawyer, I would argue that this is especially the case when we’re talking about constitutional protections rather than state statutes.

  2. Anonymous

    They should enforce this law. There is no excuse for people who are either too stupid or too lazy to take a title time to know the issues BEFORE they go to the polls.

    Why should informed voters be forced to wait in line while these numbskulls try to figure out what Marsy’s law is (which, by the way, should be as simple as reading the daily postcard from Mr. Glodt).

    Seriously though, the ballots are readily available beforehand and every local newspaper is forced to print them at taxpayer expense. Still too much homework? How about taking advantage of absentee ballots that you can study to you heart’s content before mailing it or turning it in.

    I’m tired of these excuses about confusing ballots and issues. Get smart or we all get screwed by the choices on Election Day.

  3. Pat Powers

    Given the Poor state of victims rights in South Dakota, I believe I’m going to be voting for the Marcy’s law amendment.

    I’m a bit tossed on amendment R, but I’m leaning towards it. It has a noble goal, but I also know our friend Mr. Schoenbeck has some reservations against it.

    But otherwise, I’m not sure that I’m going to be voting yes on anything else at this point. Haven’t made up my mind completely, but there’s still quite a bit of time.

    1. Anonymous

      NO on S…a lot of cost and gives lawyers the right to sue and the taxpayer end up paying huge legal fees and putting something into the Constitution should have a higher level…we already have statutes covering these things


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