A group trying to bring a “top two” primary system to South Dakota didn’t collect enough valid signatures to get the issue onto the November ballot, the state’s chief elections official said Friday. Secretary of State Shantel Krebs’ office said in a statement that a random sampling of signatures collected by Open Primaries South Dakota found that the campaign submitted about 25,500 valid signatures, not the nearly 28,000 needed for the proposed constitutional amendment to go to voters. The rejection could be challenged in court. The group’s treasurer, De Knudson, said she’s contacted the group’s attorney but that a decision hasn’t been made on whether to challenge the decision.
“I’m just a little stunned right now,” said Knudson, a former Sioux Falls City Council member. “I’m just extremely disappointed.”
The amendment would have moved South Dakota to a system in which the top two finishers in a primary would have advanced to the general election, regardless of party. Such a model is sometimes referred to as a “jungle primary” system.