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Attorney General Marty Jackley

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Draft Ballot Explanations

What are Ballot Explanations

State law requires the Attorney General to draft a title and explanation for each initiated measure, initiated constitutional amendment, constitutional amendment proposed by the Legislature, or referred measure that may appear on an election ballot. See SDCL 12-13-9 & 12-13-25.1.

The Attorney General's explanation is meant to be an "objective, clear, and simple summary" intended to "educate the voters of the purpose and effect of the proposed" measure, as well as identify the "legal consequences" of each measure. SDCL 12-13-9 & 12-13-25.1. Each explanation is limited to 200 words.

The public can comment on draft Attorney General explanations. Once the Attorney General has filed and posted the draft explanation, the public has 10 days to provide written comment. The Attorney General must review all accepted comments and may revise the draft explanation as deemed necessary. The final explanation from the Attorney General must be filed with the Secretary of State no later than 20 days after filing the draft explanation.

For more information regarding ballot measures, please visit the Secretary of State's website

State law may be reviewed by visiting the Legislative Research Council webpage.

How to File Comments

To file written comments on a draft Attorney General's explanation please use one of the following methods. Copies of all received comments will be posted on this website.

Hand delivery or mail:

Comments may be submitted via mail, or through hand delivery, to the Attorney General's Office at the following address:

Office of the Attorney General
1302 E. Hwy. 14, Suite 1
Pierre, SD 57501

Comments that are hand delivered must be received by the close of business on the day the deadline to accept comments expires. Comments that are mailed must be received by the Attorney General's Office before the deadline to accept comments expires.

Email submission:

Comments may also be emailed to atgballotcomments@state.sd.us. Emailed comments must be received by the Attorney General's Office before the deadline to accept comments expires. Your comments should be clearly expressed in the body of the email. The Attorney General's Office will not open attachments in an effort to prevent malware or other digital threats.

This email address is only monitored for the receipt of ballot explanation comments. To submit other information to the Attorney General's Office that is not related to a pending investigation or lawsuit please see "Contact Us" at the bottom of this page or call 605-773-3215.

Proposed Measures and Draft Statements

General Title or name of Measure Sponsors Name LRC Letter/Date Received Final Language Submitted by Sponsor to ATG and Date Received ATG Draft Statement/date posted Comments
Proposed Constitutional Amendment re: Vaccine or Medication Mandates Arthur Taylor LRC Review: April 20, 2022      
Proposed Constitutional Amendment re: Elections Arthur Taylor LRC Review: April 20, 2022      
Proposed Constitutaional Amendment re: Reserve Certain Parental Rights Arthur Taylor LRC Review: April 20, 2022      
Iniated Measure repeals SDCL ch. 34-20G, Medical Cannabis Travis Ismay LRC Review: May 10, 2023      
Initiated Measure will not allow legalization of federally band (sic) substances on our ballot Travis Ismay LRC Review: May 10, 2023      
To Provide Limits on Annual Property Valuation Increases and Property Taxes Due Senator Frye-Mueller

LRC Review November 6, 2023