Washington, DC – This week, Forbes, The Washington Post, POLITICO and other national media outlets spotlighted the Fairness Project’s successful campaign to defeat Amendment C in yesterday’s primary election. Amendment C would have permanently changed the South Dakota constitution to end majority rule for ballot measures, allowing a minority of just 41% of voters to block citizen-led campaigns — including Medicaid expansion, which will be on the ballot in South Dakota in November. 

The Washington Post: “As of this morning, the South Dakota secretary of state’s website had the initiative to raise the threshold, losing 67 percent to 33 percent after the state’s primary election yesterday. Major groups had poured resources into the opposition, such as advocacy group the Fairness Project.”

Forbes: “The Fairness Project said Amendment C was merely designed to make passage of Medicaid expansion in South Dakota more difficult. This November, the Medicaid expansion question on the ballot in South Dakota can be passed with a simple majority of votes as has already happened in six other states.”

Politico: “Six states — Maine, Idaho, Utah, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Missouri — have approved Medicaid expansion via ballot initiative since 2014. While no Medicaid expansion ballot measure has yet failed, Oklahoma’s proposal succeeded with just 50.5 percent support, and Idaho is the only state that approved an expansion with more than 60 percent support. If the measure is approved, Medicaid expansion is expected to boost insurance access for nearly 43,000 South Dakotans, according to the Fairness Project, a ballot measure advocacy group.”

The Fairness Project invested more than $250,000 into the South Dakotans for Fair Elections campaign to fight proposed Amendment C as a part of its Ballot Measure Rescue Campaign to defend direct democracy across the country

“On Tuesday the people of South Dakota preserved their right to use direct democracy. This victory will benefit tens of thousands of South Dakotans who will choose to use the ballot measure process to increase access to health care for their families and neighbors, raise wages, and more policies that improve lives. We look forward to what’s next in South Dakota: an aggressive campaign to expand Medicaid in the state,” said Kelly Hall, executive director of the Fairness Project in Forbes.

In addition to consolidating power within the state legislature, Amendment C was intended to make passage of Medicaid expansion in South Dakota more difficult. South Dakota remains one of only 12 states that has yet to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Now that Amendment C has failed, the Medicaid expansion question on the ballot in South Dakota this November can be passed with a simple majority of votes. 

Fairness Project has worked to successfully pass Medicaid expansion via the ballot measure process in six states to date and plans to continue its support for the South Dakotans Decide Healthcare campaign.

South Dakota Voters Reject GOP Effort Aimed At Derailing Medicaid Expansion. Read it in Forbes HERE

Expanding Medicaid in South Dakota won’t get harder. Read it in The Washington Post HERE

Medicaid Expansion Won’t Face Higher Bar to Pass in South Dakota. Read it in Politico HERE

Amendment C defeated in South Dakota. Read it in Ballotpedia HERE

South Dakotans Crush GOP Effort to Preemptively Sabotage Medicaid Expansion Vote. Read it in Common Dreams HERE.

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