SD Blogger Considering Options To Overturn New Circulator Law

Jun 28, 2019

A South Dakota blogger hoping to refer a state law that requires petition circulators submit information about themselves to the state…did not receive enough signatures.

Cory Heidelberger writes for Dakota Free Press. He had 90 days to gather almost 17,000 signature to refer the law to the voters.

Heidelberger says House Bill 1094—the law passed this last session—is unconstitutional. He points to case law out of Colorado about anonymity of circulators and violations of prior restraint.

“The fight over circulation badges and the registry is not over,” Heidelberger says. “A law this patently oppressive and unconstitutional cannot be allowed to stand. I will continue to look for avenues through which we can overturn this egregiously oppressive and unconstitutional law.”

Heidelberger says he’s exploring avenues to overturn the circulator petition law that goes into effect on July first of 2020.

Sioux Falls Republican Jon Hansen was prime sponsor of House Bill 1094. He says 1094 is less onerous for circulators than current law.

“I don’t think we will see an impact on our local, grass roots efforts in South Dakota,” Hanson says. “What this will do is prevent out of state actors from coming in and breaking our laws and circulating petitions.”

The state Republican party credits their “Don’t Sign on the Line” effort, discouraging voters to wait until they’ve examined all “repercussions of the petitions they’re being asked to put their name to.”