ballot measures, direct democracy, elections, petitions, initiated measures

Chiesman Center for Democracy Heads Up “Join The Conversation” Campaign

October 25, 2017

The Chiesman Center for Democracy has launched the "Join The Conversation" campaign in order to educate, engage and envigorate South Dakota voters concerning the initiated measure process.  The campaign includes a website and corresponding Facebook page and Twitter account.  Check it out!

South Dakota Voter Turnout Lowest in Rural Counties

August 28, 2017

Voter turnout was lowest in rural counties. The South Dakota Secretary of State’s office reports that turnout of registered voters was  73.6 percent in metropolitan counties, 73.8 percent in micropolitan counties, and only 68.3 percent in rural counties.  The secretary found similar voting patterns in 2008 as turnouts of registered voters in that election year were 75.7 percent metropolitan counties, 72.7 percent for micropolitan counties, and just 63.9 percent for rural counties.

This data can be found on the South Dakota Dashboard under their Civic Engagement tab. The offer interactive charts that feature both registered voter turnout as well as estivates of voting-age population turnout. You can it at the following link: South Dakota Dashboard.

initiated measure, constitutional amendment, 2018 ballot, voting, legislature, task force, ballot measure

Chiesman Center for Democracy Pres./CEO testimony before SD Legislative Task Force June 2017

June 22, 2017

Rob Timm, President/CEO of the Chiesman Center for Democracy, provided testimony before the SD Legislature's Initiative and Referenda Task Force on June 21, 2017.  Read the testimony here:

Gov. Daugaard Signs Open Waters Compromise

June 14, 2017

PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard this evening signed into law House Bill 1001, the compromise bill on nonmeandered waters.

“I thank the Legislature for recognizing the urgency of passing the Open Waters Compromise,” said Gov. Daugaard. “With the signing of this bill, we are opening up tens of thousands of acres of nonmeandered waters to public recreation, while respecting the property rights of landowners.”

Gov. Daugaard convened the Legislature today for a special legislative session to consider legislation relating to public recreational use of non-meandered waters overlying private property. The bill immediately opens more than two dozen bodies of water to the public while giving landowners the ability to post and close certain areas of nonmeandered waters.

An amendment to the bill “sunsets” the legislation on July 1, 2018, which will require the Legislature to take up the issue during the next legislative session.

The bill, which included an emergency clause, passed both houses with the required two-thirds majority, making the law effective immediately.

The Department of Game, Fish and Parks will release further information about the reopening of these lakes tomorrow morning.

Voting, Elections, initiated measure, ballot

Task Force Proposed to Revise SD’s Initiated Measure Process

February 06, 2017

The South Dakota House of Representatives will take up HB1141 in the next week or so.  The bill would create a task force to study and propose changes to South Dakota initiated measure, referendum and constitutional amendment processes.  The task force would be comprised of the Sec. of State, the Attorney General, legislators and the State Chamber of Commerce.  The proposed changes would be brought forth during the 2018 legislative session.  Check the bill out here:

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