House panel passes geographic signature rule for initiatives
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota House committee has approved a bill that would impose tougher rules on citizens trying to put initiatives on the ballot.
The House State Affairs Committee voted Wednesday to send the bill to the full chamber.
It would require ballot measure campaigns to collect signatures from a majority of the state’s Senate districts when supporters gather names to qualify questions for the ballot.
Right now, the state doesn’t mandate a specific geographic distribution for signatures.
House Speaker Pro Tempore Steven Haugaard, the sponsor, says the bill represents an opportunity for sponsors to get a measure on the ballot that also “reflects the entire character of the state.”
House Democratic leader Spencer Hawley says the requirement is an undue burden meant to “hold down” ballot questions.