By: Mike Zitterich @ Sioux Falls Community Chronicle
For more than 100 years, the “People” of South Dakota aligned their State into 66 Counties, 35 Legislative Districts, and 689 Precincts.
That aligns the “People” in small, carefree, family sized groups of where they begin to adapt to a common set of morals, values, beliefs, traditions, goals, as they best relate to themselves.
For years, we have gone to the poles every two years, in June to nominate, and elect common representatives such as the legislators, judges, the governor, delegates, county and precinct people who now are chosen by very voters from their own areas.
While the voters chose directly who they wish to be on the public ballot for the Governor, the Legislators, Local Judges, etc –
The same voters chose Delegates, County and Precinct Representatives to act in their best interest to hold Public Meetings, Committees, and Commissions during the Months of July, August, September, to discuss potential resolutions, initiatives, and candidates to place on the General Election Ballot in November.
The Voters elected Delegates of whom represent each of the 35 Districts, 1 County Person to represent each of the Counties, and 1 Precinct Person to represent each of the precincts themselves.
So – this group of people now hold committee meetings, which are open to the public within the counties, of whom now discuss publically, choices for Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Auditor, and Public Utilities Commissioner.
Each Elected Person from the District, to the County, to the Precicnt gets to meet individually with the people of their area, to educate, to gain advice, and to gain consent of the very people they represent in order to nominate and discuss those potential candidates at Public Committee Meetings.
As a Precinct Committee Person, Myself, Mike Austad, and Abby Erickson attend meetings, with the goal to introduce potential candidates on behalf of our “precincts” and the same is said for those Countywide Persons, as well as the District Representative.
During the three months of July, August, and September, these elected persons, who work for free, taking no pay, nor salary, are busy campaigning for their district, their county, their precinct’s choice for each of those At-Large Positions…
I represent Precinct 5-22, it is my job to go door to door, meet with potential voters, gaining their advice, their consent, and their opinion of who they wish to see from the precinct to be chosen for each of those At-Large Representative Offices…
I do not represent anyone else, other than the people within my precinct, my vote is not bound to the “Party” but to the people who reside closest to me, which are my neighbors, my family, my co-workers, those of us who may attend the same church, etc.
My job is to meet, and greet my fellow neighbors, hold town halls, let alone keep them informed of what the other precincts are talking about.
I listen, I gather information, I provide the same back in return.
We discuss mostly, “Potential Candidates” for the At-Large Offices, however, ‘we’ also may discuss potential resolutions, and initiatives that come along and need to be petitioned for.
During the most important months, all the “precinct persons” alongside the Countywide Persons are meeting at least once a month in Committees, to discuss each other’s potential candidates.
And by October, “WE” alongside the Delegates, the County Committee Persons, and the Precinct Persons all meet in a neutral setting, to hold a 3 Day Convention to adopt resolutions, iniatiatives, and of course….Choose a Candidate for each At-Large Office.
Day 1 tends to be open more for a Meet and Greet, Often the Current Governor and Legislators attend to provide important statewide information, let alone the Party Leader(s) provide further information of statewide matters;
Day 2 tends to be more formal, allowing the District, County, and Precinct Persons to vote on Resolutions, and adopt new Rules, or Amend Old Rules, let alone continue to meet potential Candidates.
And Day 3 – The Delegates, County, and Precinct Persons head to the Poles to Vote on their Choice for Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Auditor, Public Utilities Commissioner, etc.
Total Votes Include: 689 Precinct Voters, 66 County Voters, and 35 District Voters, let alone each member of the Legislature gets 1 vote each and there are other elected officials who can cast votes, pushing the total # of votes to 1,280’ish.
For Each At-Large Position – the person who gets 50% +1 of all votes cast, becomes that party’s choice, to appear on the November Ballot.
Every County, Every District, every Precinct has 1 Vote Each.
The importance of the Convention is to ensure that “ALL PARTS” of the Population are equally represented, and as at least 1 Vote Each.
Prior to 1929 – the President, the U.S Senator, and the Governor who are also “At-Large Reps” were chosen by the Convention.
But, the Political Parties for reasons of their own, removed those 3 positions from the Convention, allowing them to be chosen by the Popular Vote ALL VOTERS in a Public Election. Hence it now required them to spend money, to travel more frequently, across the State to campaign, rather than utilizing the process of allowing the Districts, Counties, and Precincts to Campaign for them within a small area, or “Box”.
If SB-40 is adopted into law – the rest of our At-Large Representatives will now be required to travel the state, costing them time, and money, leading to more money being thrown into the mix, in order to convince the majority of the State’s 585,000 voters to choose them to appear on the November General Ballot.
All the white, the Party’ Executive Boards Gain More Power over the people, based on the fact they have the ability to Raise the Funds.
IF you support a true Grassroot Governing Process, a low cost public election, and be more part of the process of choosing these persons, then I recommend to everyone, their Support to VOTE NO on Senate Bill #40.
The Establishment of the Republican Party does NOT trust you, they do not believe that you know best for your Home, Your Property, Your District, Your County, Your Precinct.
They want to strip the people of their Authority to Hold Conventions, for the right to Choose At-Large Candidates. Rather than each District, County, and Precinct choosing 1 each, their choice for their Constitutional Elected Officer, they want a more “democratic” vote based on public opinion as it relates to the 10 most populated areas to decide for all of us.
The COUNTY CENTRAL COMMITTEE led by John Wilks adopted a Resolution to NOT support SB-40 … so that shows that the Counties are NOT changing the process. So if the Legislature votes to adopt SB-40, then it shows that the Legislature is in line with the State, the state being “THE PEOPLE”.
WE MUST BE ORGANIZED, UNIFIED, and PREPARED to Petition the Voters from April 1st, to June 30th – Overturn the Vote of the Legislature if they happen to accept SB 40.
IF ADOPTED, we have 90 DAYS to OVER TURN that VOTE