Rapid City Journal this Morning - Don't mess with the Initiated Measure Process
Read it all here.
One proposed law would require the Secretary of State's Office verify a random sample of 5 percent of the signatures on the petitions. Currently, state employees only check to see that the number of required signatures are gathered. This may take more work on the part of the Secretary of State's Office to verify the signatures, but it would force petition circulators to be careful that only registered voters sign the petitions.
If such a law passes the Legislature, what happens if invalid signatures are found? Would a certain number of invalid signatures trigger a more thorough review of the remaining signatures or invalidate the petitions? We would imagine that even the most conscientious signature collector might gather signatures from nonregistered voters.
We would like more information on the proposed changes before endorsing them or rejecting them. The Legislature should proceed cautiously before tinkering with South Dakota's long heritage of citizen-initiated measures. The purpose of such changes should be to ensure the integrity of the petition process, not to make it more difficult.