Washington, DC – This week, Salon and The Nation spotlighted the Fairness Project’s successful campaign to defeat Amendment C in South Dakota’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. 

Salon: “Today, the people of South Dakota have preserved their right to use direct democracy,” Kelly Hall, executive director of The Fairness Project, said, according to Forbes. “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,” she added. “We look forward to what’s next in South Dakota: an aggressive campaign to expand Medicaid in the state.”

The Nation: At a point when there are so many threats to voting rights and fair elections, the South Dakota result provided a boost for democracy advocates nationwide. But the fight is not over. The Fairness Project, which supported the activists who opposed the amendment, celebrated the fact that, as the group’s executive director, Kelly Hall, said, “the people of South Dakota have preserved their right to use direct democracy.” But the group stresses that the South Dakota battle should be seen as part of an “orchestrated and ongoing attacks on our democratic institutions.”

Now, the Fairness Project is shifting the focus of its Ballot Measure Rescue Campaign towards a similar measure in Arkansas that would also require a supermajority to pass ballot initiatives. 

We defeated an effort to short-circuit direct democracy in South Dakota and now we’re going to do the same in Arkansas,” said Fairness Project Executive Director Kelly Hall. “Voters do not want to live under minority rule. They do not want their legislatures diminishing their power to make a difference. That was true in South Dakota. It’s true in Arkansas, too.”

South Dakota voters overwhelmingly reject amendment that would make it harder to expand Medicaid. Read it in Salon HERE.

South Dakota Voters Just Crushed the GOP’s Anti Democratic Scheme. Read it in The Nation HERE.

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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