South Dakota’s Amendment V Falls Short of Victory

The Mount Rushmore State did not pass nonpartisan primaries Tuesday night. South Dakota’s Amendment V – Nonpartisan Elections didn’t quite make the cut at 44.51% to 55.49%.

Amendment V would have enacted a similar primary system as the one currently used for Nebraska legislative races — all voters and candidates would participate on a single ballot and the top-two vote getters would move on to the general election in November, regardless of party affiliations. The amendment would have removed party labels from the ballot, dissimilar to nonpartisan elections in California and Washington state, where parties are still listed on the primary ballot.

The Yes on V campaign released a concession statement from campaign chair Rick Knobe:

“Change is a hard thing to accomplish, and tonight’s result for Amendment V proves that. We thank the Campaign members and volunteers, and especially the 157,844 South Dakotans who declared themselves part of a movement to fix our broken politics by voting Yes on V.

During the campaign, voters continually expressed that they had been unaware how our political process filled most legislative seats without a competitive election, and how 120,000 independent voters had little voice. Our coalition of Republicans, Democrats, and independents appreciated the chance to advance the dialogue with South Dakota voters on what kind of political system we want for ourselves and our children.

Unfortunately, those inequities in our election system remain, as they do in most states across America. This movement to empower voters will not be defined by any single election or event, and we pledge to continue to fight for the future of South Dakota and America. In the days and weeks ahead, our coalition will carefully examine the best way forward to give every voter a voice. Stay tuned.”

Read more IVN Coverage of Nonpartisan Elections in South Dakota:

South Dakota League of Women Voters, AARP Say Nonpartisan Elections Are Best for All Voters

Why the Voter Rebellion is Alive and Being Led … by South Dakota!

Schwarzenegger Asks South Dakotans to Help Terminate Partisanship by Passing Amendment V