Once More Into The Breach
We at TakeItBack.Org are in the final stages of deciding what ballot initiatives to put forward in the 2018 cycle. While no final decisions have been made on details, it's likely that we'll proceed with initiatives that contain provisions that would:
1) Allow South Dakotans to "Vote at Home"--a system that is already in three states (OR, WA, and CO), saves taxpayers significant dollars in election costs, makes it much easier for seniors, disabled citizens, and single-parents to vote, allows citizens to make educated votes by giving them time to research their votes at home, substantially increases voter turnout, and eliminates voter suppression techniques on Election Day. It's very popular in the states that use it, and is almost identical to the process you use when vote at home using an absentee ballot, which an increasing number of South Dakotans already use.
2) Set up an Automatic Voter Registration System--according to the Brennan Center for Justice, "Automatic voter registration makes two transformative, yet simple, changes to voter registration: Eligible citizens who interact with government agencies are registered to vote unless they decline, and agencies transfer voter registration information electronically to election officials. These two changes create a seamless process that is more convenient and less error-prone for both voters and government officials. This policy boosts registration rates, cleans up the rolls, makes voting more convenient, and reduces the potential for voter fraud, all while lowering costs." Six states and the District of Columbia have already instituted it, and many more are considering implement it.
3) Change South Dakota Legislative Elections to Nonpartisan Open Primaries--very similar to last election cycle's Amendment V, which would have allowed all voters to vote for their candidate of choice, regardless of political party, and nominated the top two finishers to face off in the general election, regardless of political party. It would not only allow registered Independents to fully participate in the election system that their tax dollars pay for, it would change the governance of the South Dakota Legislature from the tried-and-failed "normal" partisan model to the nonpartisan model that the Nebraska Legislature has very successfully used for the last 80 years. The nonpartisan Nebraska Legislature has no Democratic or Republican caucuses that meet behind closed doors, legislators from both political parties are eligible to chair committees (the only such legislature in the country), party bosses don't pressure legislators to vote the party line (because there IS no party line), and corruption is much more difficult to "sweep under the rug" by the majority party, because no majority party exists. The principal goal of a nonpartisan legislature is to solve its citizens' problems, not to defeat the other party. 4) Change the South Dakota Legislature from the Inefficient and Wasteful Bicameral (two chamber) Model to the Efficient and Cost-Effective Unicameral (one chamber) Model--Nebraska not only has the only nonpartisan legislature, but it also has the only unicameral legislature in the country, which makes the path of legislation much easier for citizens to understand (there are no confusing conference committees), and it saves taxpayers substantial sums of money.
Feel free to send us an email and let us know your thoughts!