After out-of-state groups spent millions of dollars on ballot measure and constitutional amendment campaigns last year, a task force is set to consider proposals Wednesday that could make it harder to pass a measure in South Dakota. Lawmakers, elections officials and ballot campaign insiders on the Initiative and Referendum Task Force have met twice this summer and are set to consider 20 draft bills aimed at reforming the state’s ballot initiative and referendum process. They could bump up the number of voters needed to pass a constitutional amendment, cap the number of amendments that voters can take up on each ballot and set up a board to hold hearings on ballot measures before voters take them up. And they’ll also consider requiring uniform font, changing filings deadlines and shifting some of the information that comes out about proposals before they hit the ballot.
… Following the 2016 approval of Marsy’s Law and ensuing problems in implementing the victims’ rights amendment, the panel is set to consider four drafts that would bump up the voter support needed to pass constitutional amendments on the ballot.
Separate draft bills would increase the requirement to 55 or 60 percent from the current 50 percent requirement. And two other bills would increase the voter support requirement at the same levels for constitutional amendments referred by the Legislature.