Sioux Falls, South Dakota – Today, voters in South Dakota filed a lawsuit against Proposed Constitutional Amendment C, alleging that Amendment C violates the state’s constitution. The suit explains that Amendment C is an attempt to aggregate votes by forcing South Dakota voters to cast one vote to decide two distinct issues. The proposed amendment would require 60% of votes cast to approve certain ballot measures.
South Dakota is the birthplace of ballot measures in the United States, and the process has worked well there for over 100 years to empower voters to make direct change at the ballot box. Attacks like this are exactly why Fairness Project launched the Ballot Measure Rescue Campaign.
“This proposed amendment is exhibit A in the effort to undermine the ballot measures process by legislatures all over the country. Special interests and extremist politicians understand that if voters can bypass legislatures intent on blocking worker-friendly change, they lose. In South Dakota and elsewhere, they’re trying to change the rules in the middle of the game by raising thresholds for changing policy at the ballot box, to give themselves the power to simply ignore the will of the people,” said Kelly Hall, Executive Director of Fairness Project.
Democracy Forward uses the law to fight for good government on behalf of all Americans, challenging abuses of power and attempts to undermine a government that works for all people. Attacks on the right of people to make their voices heard in government – like Constitutional Amendment C in South Dakota – are among the reasons the organization has expanded the scope and reach of its work to defend democracy across the country.
“Constitutional Amendment C is the latest example of the orchestrated and ongoing attack from bad actors across the country on our democratic institutions. State legislatures are attempting to shut down ballot measures overwhelmingly supported in their communities and critical to improving the lives of millions. We are proud to support these efforts by voters to stand up and protect South Dakota’s long history of direct democracy, and uphold the will of the people,” said Skye Perryman, President and CEO of Democracy Forward.
The Fairness Project and Democracy Forward are collaborating to ensure that laws that undermine direct democracy and people’s voices in government do not go unchallenged.
Fairness Project is a United States 501 charitable organization that promotes general economic and social justice throughout the U.S. by the use of ballot measures to circumvent deadlocks in law changes by the legislative and executive branches of government.
Democracy Forward Foundation (“Democracy Forward”) is a nonprofit legal organization founded in 2017 that litigates cases involving government action on behalf of organizations, individuals, and municipalities. The organization has taken 650 legal actions and achieved victories supporting democracy and improving the lives and wellbeing of people and communities. Democracy Forward Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.