Edit: This bill ended up being pulled by the sponsor, unfortunately. 

There’s a House Bill proposed by Representatives Perry (prime), Moore, and Pinnow and Senators BealHoffmanMehlhaff, and Novstrup that would prohibit the ability to pay people to circulate petitions and gather signatures for ballot initiatives.

Paying people to gather signatures for an issue to get on the ballot for people to vote on is an option that would make it much easier to accomplish the feat of getting tens of thousands of signatures statewide.

While we’re not sure the reasoning behind this amendment to the law concerning petition circulators, we, along with Concerned Citizens of Butte County/Concerned Citizens of South Dakota support this amendment due to the perspective someone shared yesterday (italics = changed detail for privacy):

“One day this past summer I came out of my county office and a young man was there getting signatures for a certain petition. In the course of our discussion he informed me that he is a college student and this was how he was earning money during the summer. He wasn’t really sure if he was for it or against it.  He saw both sides.  He just needed the money.  He said even if it did get put on the ballot, he wouldn’t even vote on it.  This is how they work the system.  Special interests pour in money to get signatures.  It’s not the outcry of the people to get the signatures.  I pray this bill goes through.  It could stop them in their tracks.”

Concerned Citizens of Butte County/South Dakota has been gathering signatures with the effort of 100% volunteers.  No one has been paid in any way, shape or form.  It goes to prove that if citizens are passionate enough about an issue, they will get the work done.

We encourage you to contact the sponsors of this bill, your state representatives, and tell them to support this bill. If you’re not sure who to contact or where to find their contact info, go to this page and you’ll find all you need to get what you’re looking for.

Thank you!