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  • Writer's pictureDakotans for Health (Press)

Direct Democracy Wins Again, Minnehaha County Opens Up Access for Petition Circulators

Updated: Dec 1, 2023

Under God the People Rule

Petition-gathering group reaches settlement with Minnehaha County

Contact: Press Office

Dakotans for Health

605-610-8146


November 21, 2023


Sioux Falls, SD - After egregious attempts to restrict “free speech” and adversely impact the ability of citizen-led efforts to circulate petitions and collect signatures to secure ballot access for initiated laws and constitutional amendments, Minnehaha and County has promised to establish new policies regarding the collection of petition signatures.


“This is another big win for direct democracy and South Dakota’s long-standing tradition of being able to bypass politically entrenched special interests and pass laws and constitutional amendments at the ballot box through the initiated measure process,” stated Rick Weiland, co-founder of Dakotans for Health. “We realize there are some elected politicians that don’t support direct democracy and who will continue to do whatever they can to disrupt it, slow it down, ignore it, or get rid of it altogether. We will continue to be vigilant in our pursuit to protect and use the citizen initiative process to improve the lives of everyday South Dakotans. When the elected class is more beholden to the special interests than the citizens of our state, groups like ours must continue to organize and give the voters of South Dakota the opportunity to weigh in directly at the ballot box,” Weiland said.


Dakotans for Health recently sued Minnehaha County in federal court for its restrictive policies regarding petitioner signature collection at its administrative building citing an infringement of the First Amendment and the “free speech” rights of South Dakotans. Dakotans for Health was successful and as a result, Minnehaha County was required to terminate its unconstitutional policies and reopen access to signature collection.


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About Dakotans for Health:

Dakotans for Health is a grassroots organization focused on healthcare and protecting the democratic process. The organization was instrumental in the successful 2022 campaign to expand Medicaid coverage to 52,000 low-income South Dakotans. Dakotans for Health will continue its efforts to ensure our neighbors have access to the care they need, no matter who they are, what they look like, or how much money they have.




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