Sioux Falls, SD...South Dakotans for a Nonpartisan Democracy committee chair, Rick Knobe, a registered Independent and regional radio talk show host, said that he was elated that the proposed constitutional amendment to establish a nonpartisan primary was given a ‘green light’ by the South Dakota Secretary of States Office. “I think most people are fed up with partisan politics, the bickering, and the lackluster results.” Knobe stated after the Secretary of State’s Office validated 29,924 number of signatures, 2183 over the 27,741 signature requirement. “For too long, both political parties have been shouting over each other at the expense of the voters, and now have an opportunity to do something about it. Just look at the growing number of registered Independents, which now numbers over 100,000 in South Dakota. That number is growing here and across the country. When this measure passes, those 100,000 South Dakotans will have the opportunity to fully participate in the election process.” The amendment to establish a nonpartisan primary will be on the November 2016 ballot and, if passed, will go into effect in 2018. Instead of separate taxpayer-subsidized party primaries, one open primary will be held where candidates will be chosen based on their ideas and not their party label, allowing the top two vote getters to face each other in the general election. A similar amendment passed in Nebraska in 1934 and, as a result, Nebraska has the only legislature in the country which is not organized by one of the political parties, and has both Democratic and Republican legislative committee chairs. “Our democracy is broken. We have this wonderful opportunity to fix it by passing this amendment. It’s time to say no to politics as usual and usher in a new era of reform that puts the voters first, not the party,” Knobe concluded. South Dakotans for a Nonpartisan Democracy is a broad based and growing coalition made up of Republicans, Democrats and Independents committed to reforming our election process and creating a more cohesive and less partisan government.