Voters send message on statewide ballot measures


Voters in South Dakota voted down two of the three proposed constitutional amendments Tuesday night, and split on a pair of Initiated Measures that were placed on the ballot.
Both Proposed Constitutional Amendments W and X were defeated by nearly identical totals. The percentage for Amendment W - which would have changed campaign finance and lobbying laws, created a government accountability board and changed other initiative and referendum provisions - was 55 to 45 against the proposal.
Amendment X - which would have increased the number of votes needed to approve a constitutional amendment - went down to defeat by the same 55-45 margin.
Ironically, the percentages for Amendment Z were nearly 2 to 1 in favor of making the change. Amendment Z establishes that a proposed constitutional amendment may only have one subject, while requiring that proposed amendments be presented and voted upon separately. Amendment Z addresses the laundry list of subjects presented in Amendment W.
The state’s voters approved, by a 56 percent to 44 percent margin, Initiated Measure 24, which prohibits contributions to ballot-question committees from non-residents, any out-of-state political committees and other entities that are not on file with the Secretary of State’s office. A great deal of out of state money was poured into many of the constitutional amendment and initiated measure advertising in the lead up to Tuesday’s election.
Initiated Measure 25, which would have increased the state tobacco tax on cigarettes by $1 per pack while simultaneously creating a fund for the state’s vocational-technical institutes was defeated by a 55-45 margin, after many state organizations opposed it.

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