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Anti-Corruption Group Holds Forums Across The State

State Capitol Building
Kealey Bultena

The group promoting a constitutional amendment in the spirit of Initiated Measure 22 held a forum in Rapid City to discuss the new Voter Protection and Anti-Corruption Amendment.

The stop in Rapid City is one of many the group is holding across the state in the next couple weeks

Around seven people showed up for the Represent South Dakota forum at the Rapid City public library.

It’s one of nine stops the group is making to organize and place another ballot question similar to Initiated Measure 22 on the ballot.

During the 2017 legislative session lawmakers repealed the measure and replaced portions of it with their own legislation.

This time the group hopes to put a constitutional amendment up for a vote. That would make it harder for the legislature to overturn.

Doug Kronaizl is the spokesperson for the group.

“This voter protection and Anti-Corruption Amendment really does two things," Kronaizl says. "It makes it so the legislature cannot just completely overturn election results in the future, but also adds these strong provisions to fight corruption where the legislature failed to deliver.”

The group is backed by a national organization called Represent Us. That organization drew criticism from lawmakers who were frustrated by the tone of the campaign.

Because it’s a constitutional amendment, Represent South Dakota needs to gather more signatures than last time.

“The purpose of all these meetings we’re having across the state over the coming months is really set up these networks and really get people ready to go and to gather signatures and stand in front of the courthouses and get what we need to make it on the ballot," Kronaizl says. "We need 34,000 signatures with a constitutional amendment. Represent Us is ready to provide support where necessary, but it really feels like South Dakotans are ready for change and ready to take up these petitions and get the signatures we need.”

Kronaizl says the group expects to have petitions validated by the Secretary of State around mid-June.