South Dakota Amendment V Picks Up Momentum into Election Weekend

Author: Jason Olson
Created: 04 November, 2016
Updated: 17 October, 2022
2 min read

With teams of canvassers on the ground in ten communities the past week, the endorsements of every daily newspaper that voiced an opinion, and key support from influential Republicans, independents and Democrats, the Vote Yes on Amendment V ballot committee rides significant momentum into the pre-election weekend.

“Over 40,000 South Dakotans signed a petition to put a Nebraska-style open primary on the ballot. Since then Republicans, Democrats and independents from West River to East River and everywhere in between have come together to send a message that the voters have had enough. Voters want 120,000 of their independent neighbors that are shut out of the primaries to be able to vote in every election. They know Amendment V’s Open Primary will put South Dakotans, not the political establishment, back in charge of our state.” said Vote Yes on Amendment V Chair Rick Knobe, an independent and former Mayor of Sioux Falls.

“This can be the spark that ignites a movement. South Dakota has a chance to show the rest of the country a way out of the partisanship and divisiveness that has consumed us and fix America’s broken politics,” Knobe added.

The Yes on V Campaign secured another significant endorsement on Thursday when former State Senator Dave Knudson, the Republican Majority leader of the State Senate, added his voice to a group of influential Republicans, independents, and Democrats in support of the measure.

Joe Kirby, one of the leading Republicans supporting the measure, said the division in the state GOP over Amendment V reflected the party’s larger struggles nationally. "I’m really disappointed in my party’s leadership that they think it’s fair that 120,000 independents don’t get to vote. Republicans have to decide what kind of party we want to be: one that emphasizes basic American values like fairness, or one that will do anything to win an election.”

Knobe said the issues are now clear for South Dakota voters. "On one side you have politicians who want to keep things the way they are. If you think politics in America is going great then you'll vote no. But if you're like most Americans who see this country headed down a very dark path and know we need to do something before it’s too late, then join us and vote yes on Amendment V."

Knobe went on to highlight the campaign’s accomplishments:

  • Endorsed by AARP South Dakota and the League of Women Voters of South Dakota, Dakota Rural Action and the Great Plains Tribal Chairs Association
  • Endorsed by the Mitchell Daily Republic, the Rapid City Journal and the Watertown Public Opinion
  • Raised more money from individual South Dakotans than any other issue on the ballot
  • National interest that drew attention from the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, ABC Television, the Hill, National Public Radio and the Omaha World Herald

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