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South Dakota Bill Would Allow Americans Elect to Remove Itself from 2014 Ballot

Published on January 17, 2013, by in General.

The South Dakota Secretary of State’s omnibus bill, HB 1018, would allow a ballot-qualified party to tell the Secretary of State that it no longer wishes to be ballot-qualified. The national chair and the state chair would both be required to sign paperwork, ending the party’s qualified status. The bill seems faulty because it is entirely possible that a party ballot-qualified in South Dakota might not have a national chair, or any national officers. There are many ballot-qualified parties in the United States that are not part of a national party organization. Such parties exist currently in Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Vermont.

Americans Elect is a ballot-qualified party in South Dakota currently, because it successfully petitioned in 2011, and in South Dakota, once a party petitions, it remains on the ballot until it has gone through a gubernatorial election and failed to poll 2.5% of the vote for Governor. South Dakota, like most states, doesn’t elect its Governor in presidential years, so Americans Elect is now ballot-qualified for 2014.

The bill also provides that a candidate cannot notarize his or her own ballot access petition. And it makes it illegal for a group to circulate a petition for party status more than one year before that petition is due.

3 Responses

  1. Jim Riley

    Since South Dakota has party registration, it would be simpler to have recognition based on a minimal number of registrants (say 100), along with a minimal level of activity (such as in Florida) to maintain active status.

    That way, there would be a clear understanding as to who has the right to speak on behalf of the party; and if the party officials failed to maintain an active status, the registrants could reorganize a dormant party.

    In reality, the South Dakota Americans Elect party did not did successfully petition in 2012, because there was never really a group of South Dakota voters organized as the party. The “South Dakota Americans Elect” party was a PO Box and bank account in Washington, DC.

  2. #1, I agree with you. For some time I have been suggesting to the South Dakota Libertarian Party that it seek a sponsor for a bill to define a “political party” as a group with at least 1,000 registered voters.

  3. Jim Riley

    There were only 330,000 votes cast in South Dakota total. 1,000 is actually a pretty big number.

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