How and why you SHOULD circulate AND sign the Medicaid Expansion Initiated law petition
Updated: Nov 29, 2021
Judge Charles B. Kornmann's November 3rd decision extending the signature deadline for Initiated Law Petitions, means the Democracy Center, TakeItBack, and Dakotans 4 Health will continue collecting signatures for the Medicaid Expansion Initiated Law Petition.
We must collect 17,000 signatures for the Initiated Law Petition (sometimes known as a 'Statutory Measure'). Ideally, we will collect all the signatures by May 1st, 2022.
The below write up outlines best practices in signature collection and provides additional details for staff and volunteers interested in continuing to participate in our signature collection effort.
HOW TO COLLECT SIGNATURES: RULES OF THE ROAD!
Here are some rules of the road to remember when collecting signatures on state approved petitions:
To be a circulator, you must be a registered South Dakota voter.
To sign a petition, you must be a registered South Dakota voter.
Each petition sheet is assigned to a single circulator. There is no limit on the number of petitions that a circulator may use. The circulator does not need to fill all fifteen signature lines in the petition.
The circulator must personally witness every signature that is added to their petition sheets.
The petition should always be filled out with a pen (blue or black in).
A circulator cannot offer any kind of gift or compensation to signer in return for their signature.
Circulators should never leave their petitions unattended.
Circulators CANNOT SIGN THEIR OWN PETITION. However, they can sign another circulator's petition.
Abbreviations of common usage may be used. Ditto marks may not be used at any time.
If the signer is a resident of a second- or third-class municipality, a PO Box may be used for the residence address.
If the signer makes a mistake, tell them to start again on a new signature line. After that, draw a horizontal straight line through each of the six sections on the original signature line that contains mistakes.
GETTING STARTED: WITH THE INITIATED LAW PETITION
Few things to keep in mind about Initiated Law Petitions:
There are only two state approved initiated measure petitions: recreational cannabis and Medicaid expansion.
Initiated Measure Petitions are different than the Constitutional Amendment Petitions You may have signed earlier this year for Medicaid expansion.
Many of you will not have signed these. So make sure that you do! Bonus: most of your family and friends will not have either!
Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need copies!
WHY THE INITIATED LAW PETITION IS SO IMPORTANT
The Initiated Law Petition will be critical to the passage of Medicaid expansion and defeat of Amendment C. Here is why:
Initiated Laws tend to get more votes than Constitutional Amendments. Usually about 5%. This means the Initiated Law stands a better chance of being beating the potential 60% threshold imposed by Amendment C.
The legislature is increasingly wary about messing with Initiated Laws citing failed attempts to undermine successful Initiated Laws like the 2014 Minimum Wage Increase. Argus Leader Reporter Joe Sneve highlighted this development in an article last October.
Finally, more time to collect signatures means more conversations with voters about the importance of Medicaid expansion and defeating Amendment C. It is more Democracy plain and simple. Which is good for all of us.
TURNING IN THE PETITION: NOTARIZE, VALIDATE, REPEAT
Turn in petitions to the Democracy Center at 1911 S Minnesota Ave in Sioux Falls, SD. We will have a notary on hand to verify the petition. You can contact us at email@example.com if you have any issues or questions.
PLEASE REMEMBER: QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
Make sure signers write clearly when filling out the petition. Take good care of them! Do not staple them. The state might reject petitions that re in poor condition.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I thought the signature deadline passed already?
The deadline for Constitutional Amendment Petitions was November 8, 2022. However, Judge Charles B. Kornmann recently extended the deadline to collect signatures for Initiated Law Petitions through May of 2022. And that means more Democracy for all of us.
I already signed the Medicaid expansion petition?
Not this one. The petitions you signed previously were for the Constitutional Amendment. This is for an Initiated Law.
Initiated laws tend to garner more votes which will be critical in case the SD Legislature passes Amendment C which seeks to impose a 60% threshold to laws like Medicaid expansion and Medical marijuana.
So the idea here is to hold Kristi Noem and the South Dakota Legislature accountable by making them say NO TWICE.
What is the Judge Charles Kornmann decision?
On Wednesday, November 3rd Federal Judge Charles B Kornmann rejected Governor Noem’s request to stop his August ruling that grassroots activists could continue to collect signature for Initiated Measures until May of 2022:
This means more Democracy for all of us. It also means that Dakotans 4 Health will continue to circulate Medicaid expansion and recreational marijuana Initiated Measure petitions and you can too!
Why does this matter?
The Republican Party has been in overdrive since 2016, when the voters approved IM-22, the “Anticorruption, Campaign Finance and Ethics Reform Act,” enacting numerous laws to deny the will of the voters. We find it ironic that our one-party dominated legislature continues to ignore our state’s motto, “Under God, The People Rule” with continual legislative efforts like SB 180 and superficial deadlines, to harm our constitutional right to collect signatures and advance public policy through the citizen initiative process, which has been part of our state’s constitution since 1898.
About the Democracy Center
The Democracy Center provides a centralized location in Sioux Falls to sign & notarize ballot measure petitions including Marijuana Reform, Medicaid Expansion, & Non-partisan Redistricting. We are located at 1911 Minnesota Avenue, the former Bagel Boy restaurant, and open 7 days a week, from 10am-7pm. You can make a donation to support our work here.
About Dakotans for Health
Dakotans for Health (Dakotans 4 Health) is a grassroots network in South Dakota. Our mission: is to empower our fellow citizens by organizing them on healthcare and other kitchen table issues that are critical to the future of working class people.
Whether it is promoting open enrollment, organizing to pass ballot measures like Medicaid expansion, or protecting our democracy in court, Dakotans 4 Health is committed to an inclusive and healthier South Dakota. We envision a state marked by sustainability, justice, quality healthcare, affordable prescription drugs, and science. And we organize together to achieve it.
How you can help
Come down to the Democracy Center and become a grassroots petition circulator right now. We have a lot of signatures to collect! If you can afford it, make a DONATION to help keep the important work of the Democracy Center running:
Initiated Measure Petitions
Initiated Measure petitions are different than the Constitutional Amendment Petitions You may have signed earlier this year for Medicaid expansion. Most of you will not have signed these. So make sure that you do!