SD Legislature Passes SCR 6 - Civics Education Resolution

March 05, 2015

On Wednesday, March 4th, the SD House of Representatives unanimously passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 6 which directs the SD Department of Education to ensure South Dakota students are well-versed in civics and government. The SD Senate unanimously passed the bill on February 27th.  A link to the bill is found here  The Chiesman Center for Democracy has been working closely with the Joe Foss Institute's National Civics Initiative State Committee as well as the SD Secretary of Education, legislators and others in order to facilitate the drafting and eventual passage of the legislation.  This is a precursor to an enhanced dialogue throughout the state regarding the importance of civics education for our young people as well as the need to improve civic engagement among adults.  Stay tuned.


SD Senate Introduces Civics Education Resolution

February 13, 2015

On Thursday, February 12, 2015, Senator Deb Soholt and Representative Jacqueline Sly introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution 6:  a resolution "to direct the Department of Education to ensure South Dakota students are well-versed in civics and government."

The bill has been sent to the Senate Education Committee for hearing.  Keep watching for more details.

National Civics Education Initiative Takes Aim At State Legislatures

January 26, 2015

The Civics Education Initiative proposes that all high school students take and pass the 100-question US Citizenship Civics test, from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), the test that all new US immigrants must learn.  Several states have already passed legislation requiring students take the test.

The full 100-question US Citizenship Civics test is available here:

Press Release

Kids Voting Final Election Results

November 04, 2014

Here are the final results from the 2014 Kids Voting South Dakota mock election:

US Senate:

Mike Rounds – 6,892

Rick Weiland – 2,373

Larry Pressler – 1,541

Gordon Howie – 1,068

US House of Representatives:

Kristi Noem – 8,742

Corinna Robinson – 3,048

SD Governor:

Dennis Daugaard – 7,622

Susan Wismer – 2,061

Michael J. Myers – 1,984

SD Secretary of State:

Angelia Schultz – 3,763

Shantel Krebs – 3,132

Emmett Reistroffer – 1,851

Lori Stacey – 573

SD Attorney General:

Marty Jackley – 5,616

Chad Haber – 1,692

SD Auditor:

Steve Barnett – 3,968

Kurt Evans – 2,742

SD Treasurer:

Rich Sattgast – 4,962

Denny Pierson – 2,704

Ken Santema – 1,204

Commissioner of School & Public Lands:

Ryan Brunner – 5,330

John English – 3,301

Public Utilities Commissioner:

Gary Hanson – 5,446

David Allen – 1,984

Wayne Schmidt – 1,667

Amendment Q:

Yes – 2,723

No – 2,295

Initiated Measure 17:

Yes – 3,021

No – 1,976

Initiated Measure 18:

Yes – 2,948

No – 2,065

To view a printable PDF, please click here.

To view the graphs and percentages, please click here. 

For more information on KVSD please call the Chiesman Center for Democracy at 605-341-4311, visit or email  

Press Release

Students prepare to cast ballots Nov. 4

October 29, 2014

Thousands of students across South Dakota are preparing to cast their own ballots on Election Day as part of Kids Voting South Dakota’s (KVSD) mock election. KVSD, a program of the Chiesman Center for Democracy, holds an election every two years in conjunction with the general election to help get South Dakota students, parents, and communities excited about voting.

From Aberdeen to Custer and Harding County to Vermillion, students will vote on the same candidates and ballot issues their parents and neighbors face on Election Day. Most students will vote in their schools, but a few schools will bus students to the polls where special KVSD polls are set-up as well. Leading up to the election, teachers can even “register” their students to vote using special KVSD registration cards.

“We encourage schools to make the voting experience as authentic as possible, so that students are in the habit of voting, and understand its importance, when they turn 18,” said Robin EH. Bagley, who coordinates the program for the Chiesman Center. “Kids Voting increases the participating of young voters, and makes sure that they are savvy about the election process as well.”

For more than 20 years, KVSD has been providing year-round K-12 civic education programs for school districts and communities around the state, focusing on the voting process, citizenship, and civic responsibility.  Communities with a KVSD program show an eight to 15 percent higher adult voter turnout than those without it, so it has a lasting impact on the democratic process. In addition to the mock election, KVSD provides dozens of lessons and resources for all grade levels, helping teachers incorporate civic education into their classrooms.

For more information on KVSD please call the Chiesman Center for Democracy at 605-341-4311, visit or email  

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