FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : Wednesday, August 12, 2015
CONTACT: Sara Rabern (605)773-3215
Attorney General Reminds South Dakotans of Initiative Petition Requirements
PIERRE, S.D – Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that with the current circulation of initiative petitions, circulators should be reminded that SDCL 12-26-15 prohibits gifts or promises in exchange for petition signatures.
SDCL 12-26-15 Bribery of voter as misdemeanor--Acts constituting bribery. It is a Class 2 misdemeanor for any person, directly or indirectly, by the person or through any other person:
(8) To make any gift, loan, or promise, offer, procurement, or agreement as aforesaid to, for, or with any person in order to sign any nominating, referendum, initiated measure, or initiated constitutional amendment petition.
Similar concerns were raised in 1996 and 1998 elections, and were addressed with a cautionary letter by then United States Attorney Karen Schreier and Attorney General Mark Barnett. On October 14, 2010, United States Attorney Brendan Johnson and South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley issued similar cautionary letter that adopted their predecessors’ legal analysis and set forth the applicable state and federal law.