Washington, DC – Next Tuesday, during the June 7 primary, South Dakotan voters will confront an effort at the ballot box to weaken direct democracy in the form of Amendment C, an attempt to require 60% of votes cast to approve most future ballot measures. The Fairness Project has invested more than $250,000 into the South Dakotans for Fair Elections campaign to fight proposed Amendment C as part of its ongoing Ballot Measure Rescue Campaign work.
Amendment C would permanently change the South Dakota constitution to end majority rule for ballot measures, allowing a minority of just 41% of voters to block decisions that most voters want, including funding for law enforcement, rural health care centers, schools and more.
Fairness Project Executive Director Kelly Hall released the following statement:
“Amendment C takes away South Dakotans’ right to decide what happens in their state. Proposals like this one are exhibit A in the effort to undermine the ballot measure process by extremist lawmakers. Special interests and extremist politicians understand that they will lose if voters can bypass legislatures intent on blocking worker-friendly change. In South Dakota, this measure was put on the ballot to short-circuit attempts by voters to expand Medicaid in the state, as state legislators continue to ignore demands to provide affordable health care. They’re attempting to change the rules to give themselves – the minority – the power to ignore the will of the people.”
South Dakota is the birthplace of ballot measures in the United States, and the process has worked well there for over 100 years to empower voters to make direct change at the ballot box. Attacks like this are exactly why Fairness Project launched the Ballot Measure Rescue Campaign, which is working to protect the ballot measure process itself across the country.