Sunday, February 1, 2015

SDGOP urging chilling effect on right to petition

Some GOP lawmakers in Pierre want to crush citizens' rights.
One small change to a South Dakota law could significantly alter how voters are able to put issues on a ballot. Senate Bill 166 wants to change the number of approved signatures for a ballot measure to be connected to the number of eligible voters instead of the number of votes cast in the previous gubernatorial election. "Anything that makes it harder for citizens to bring issues to the forefront and bring them to a vote, I think I would have a tough time supporting. I think our current initiated process is working just fine," Democrat[ic] Senator Angie Buhl O'Donnell said. South Dakota Democratic Party chairwoman Ann Tornberg is asking Republican leadership to withdraw the bill, saying it goes directly after Democrats in the state. "I hope it's not a partisan attack, but I think it really has an impact on a lot of South Dakotans and I don't see the need to raise the number of signatures to make it harder for people to get their voices heard," O'Donnell said. [KELO]
Democrats have had some success bringing important issues to the ballot: little wonder the South Dakota Republican Party wants to codify a chilling effect on the right to petition.

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