Will of the People Upheld by South Dakota Voters

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June 8, 2022

Britton Lee
[email protected] 


RELEASE: Will of the People Upheld by South Dakota Voters


WASHINGTON — Yesterday, South Dakotans took to the polls for their primary election. Among the ballot measures and amendments that were voted on was Amendment C, which would have required a 60% supermajority vote for the approval of citizen-initiated and legislatively referred ballot measures that increase taxes or fees or those that would require the state to appropriate $10 million or more in the first five fiscal years. 

Amendment C was a brazen attempt to block the citizen-initiated measure to expand Medicaid which will be on the ballot in November of 2022. Although 8 out of 10 South Dakota voters over the age of 50 support Medicaid expansion, legislatively-referred Amendment C would have made Medicaid expansion in the state all but impossible. 

Amendment C was purposefully placed on the June ballot by GOP legislators so that the measure would be decided by a minority of largely conservative voters. Despite this, Amendment C was resoundingly defeated with 67.4% of voters rejecting the restrictive measure. The failure of Amendment C should come as a sign to other legislators and special interests that voters across the political spectrum support protecting and maintaining their right to direct democracy. 

Ballot Initiative Strategy Center Executive Director Chris Melody Fields Figueredo issued the following statement: 

“South Dakotans took to the polls and showed the true power of the People. Amendment C was a direct attack on the ballot initiative process, the will of the people, and democracy itself.”

“The results from this election should send a message to other states that attacks against the ballot initiative process and undermining the will of the people will not only fail — but will result in a waste of time, energy, and resources. South Dakotans deserve to have a say in the laws that govern them and should not be put behind wealthy special interests and politicians who strive to control voters and rewrite the rules rather than play by them.”

“At the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, we believe direct democracy can be a tool for liberation, and we are committed to protecting the People’s power to directly create change in our communities.”