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League of Women Voters challenge Noem over ballot initiative law

Governor Noem is being sued by the League of Women Voters for signing SB 180.

South Dakota's League of Women Voters is suing Gov. Kristi Noem to challenge a law that requires a 30-day residency for petition circulators who collect signatures on ballot initiatives.

The bill was signed and passed in 2020.

League president Cheryl Otto said in a news release, people who work on ballot measure initiatives should not face a residency requirement. The league said that form of civic engagement should not be restricted.

Amy Scott-Stolz, is also with the South Dakota League of Women Voters and said the ballot initiative process is the most direct way people can shape their government and the state law gets in the way of that.

"The biggest concern is that it does restrict voter efforts," Scott-Stolz said.

The Governor's office has been sued before. Last year, Dakotans for Health filed a lawsuit against Noem for signing the bill into law. The district judge in that case ruled in favor of Noem and said that the law doesn't violate the First Amendment and protects against voter fraud.

Marissa Brunkhorst is a junior at the University of South Dakota. She is from Hutchinson, Minnesota and is based out of the Vermillion studio.