SIOUX FALLS, SD (Dakota News Now) – A campaign has taken the first step toward organizing an open primary in South Dakota.
Proposed sponsors 2024 open initiative on elections submitted their petition to South Dakota Secretary of State Monet Johnson for final consideration. Today’s filing is the last step in the state’s initiative approval process before it begins collecting the 35,000 signatures needed to qualify for next year’s ballot.
“We are excited to launch the signature campaign and talk to voters in South Dakota about our initiative to open the 2024 primary ballot,” said Treasurer De Knudson. South Dakota Open Primary, a pro-effort campaign. “By adopting open primaries, we will ensure that all South Dakota voters, regardless of party affiliation, can have a full voice in the next election.”
Knudson, who is also one of the three official sponsors of the initiative, delivered the necessary documents, including the proposed application and handouts, to the South Dakota Secretary of State’s office in Pierre.
“Our message is simple,” said South Dakota President Joe Kirby. “It’s time to give all voters a voice.”
The proposed 2024 ballot initiative would amend the state constitution to establish open primaries for governor, Congress, state legislature and county election offices. In an open primary, all candidates compete in a single election open to all voters, regardless of party affiliation.
In each race, all candidates compete in the same primary for all South Dakota voters. The two candidates who receive the most votes advance to the general election. The ballot for each candidate shows party affiliation or lack thereof. For example, if six candidates are running for governor – two Republicans, two Democrats, one Libertarian and one independent – then they will compete in a primary to determine who advances to the general election in November. A general election can include any combination of candidates chosen by voters in the primary, regardless of political party.
To qualify for the November 2024 ballot, initiative sponsors must collect valid signatures from 35,017 South Dakota registered voters and submit their petitions to the South Dakota Secretary of State by May 7, 2024. South Dakota’s open primaries will begin soon. the date of its statewide signature drive.
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