Ballot Question Pamphlet Available

October 20, 2014

There will be three ballot questions on the Nov. 4 General Election. The ballot issues are: Amendment Q, Initiated Measure 17, and Initiated Measure 18. The Secretary of State's Office has put together a pamphlet with viewpoints from both sides of the issues. 

Click here to view the pamphlet. 

Be an educated voter on Nov. 4!

Press Release

Kids Voting kicks off at Mount Rushmore next week

September 11, 2014

The Chiesman Center for Democracy’s Kids Voting South Dakota (KVSD) program will kick-off its 2014 election activities at 10 am on Thursday, Sept. 18 at Mount Rushmore National Memorial. KVSD holds this event every two years to help get area Kids Voting students, schools, parents, and communities excited about voting.

Fifth and sixth grade students from area KVSD schools not only will visit the Shrine of Democracy, but also will learn about the importance of voting and being engaged citizens. Secretary of State Jason Gant will be the featured speaker, and Gordy Pratt, the Original Fabulous One Guy, will fire up students with his voting-themed songs. Kevin Phillips, the Morning Animal from 93.9 The Mix, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies, and the M Hill Singers from the Ateyapi Program will perform as well. This fun and educational event serves to jump-start KVSD activities leading up to the General Election on Nov. 4.

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.  Kindergarten through 12th grade students from school districts throughout South Dakota will cast votes on Election Day through the KVSD program.

Thanks to generous sponsors, the Chiesman Center for Democracy is able to help offset transportation costs for attending schools: Gunderson Palmer Nelson and Ashmore Law, TransCanada, W.O. Farber Center at the University of South Dakota, Black Hills Electric Coop, South Dakota Arts Council, Black Hills Power, Exchange Club of Rapid City, Golden West Telecommunications, West River Electric Coop, Granite Automotive, Edward Jones – Bruce Gordon, State Farm Insurance - Andy Ainslie, Black Hills Community Bank, Rep. Jackie Sly, JoAnne Bohl, and Brenda Kleinjan. For more information on KVSD please call the Chiesman Center for Democracy at 605-341-4311, visit or email  


Open States app available

September 11, 2014

Open States lets you stay on top of what's happening in your state capitol. Read bills being considered to become law and find out where they currently stand in the legislative process. Find out which politicians support or oppose specific bills and even who introduced legislation you’re interested in. Research legislators' voting histories and campaign contributions. Or read policy news affecting your state from, a product of the Pew Center on the States. The app will even help you identify who represents your community in your state’s legislature.

Click here to download app for iPhone or iPad. 

Press Release

Chiesman Center Launch & Lunch celebrates new website

July 16, 2014

Rapid City, SD – The Chiesman Center for Democracy is celebrating its newly designed website with a Launch & Lunch on July 22 from 11 am to 2 pm at the organization’s office in Rapid City. The Launch & Lunch will give the Chiesman Center’s partners and program participants, as well as anyone interested in civic education, a first look at the organization’s new site,
“The Launch & Lunch on July 22nd provides us a chance to show our appreciation for our partners and supporters by giving them a quick lunch while showing off our new, enhanced, user-friendly website,” said Rob Timm, President/CEO of the Chiesman Center.
The new website will provide more resources for programs such as Rapid City Character Counts!, Kids Voting South Dakota and We the People. Additionally, information on the many services the Chiesman Center provides, such as evaluation, consulting, and policy analysis, will be more accessible. As the November General Election approaches, the site will feature information on voting and candidate forums across the state.
The Launch & Lunch will be held at the Chiesman Center for Democracy, 1641 Deadwood Avenue in Rapid City from 11 am to 2 pm on Tuesday, July 22. Everyone is invited to stop in for lunch, register to win a Kindle, and celebrate the website’s launch. The first 50 people in attendance will receive a pocket-sized US Constitution, donated by the South Dakota’s Congressional Delegation. For more information, contact Wes Brown at the Chiesman Center for Democracy, (605) 341-4311 or visit


Voting Center expansion in SD

July 02, 2014

The Sioux Falls Argus Leader looks into the new voting centers being set up around the state. 

Click here for the full story

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