Election 2024

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The exception to South Dakota’s pioneering role in direct democracy

BY: - May 30, 2023

An effort to kick Baltic Mayor Deborah McIsaac out of office over a fight about a housing development highlights a surprising fact about South Dakota’s political process: Voters have been unusually hesitant to use recall elections against officials. As the very first state to adopt the initiative and referendum back in 1898, the Mount Rushmore […]

Sen. John Thune, R-South Dakota, joined by Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, left, and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, speaks at the Capitol on Sept. 29, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Rounds, Thune show courage with Scott endorsement

BY: - May 28, 2023

At this point in the presidential election cycle, all we have is speculation. With eight months before the first caucus in Iowa and nine months until the first primary in New Hampshire, all any of us can do is read tea leaves if we’re trying to predict the political future. Fortunately, tea leaves abound. Plenty […]

Florida Governor-elect Ron DeSantis sits next to President Donald Trump and South Dakota Governor-elect Kristi Noem during a meeting in the Cabinet Room at the White House on Dec. 13, 2018, in Washington, D.C. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Noem, DeSantis and pugnacity as a political strategy

BY: - May 24, 2023

It’s apparent there are some journalists in Sioux Falls who are being punished. These are the reporters and anchors assigned to the morning shows that start at 5 a.m. and drag on for hours until the network talkathons start. With so many hours of airtime to fill, these local early morning shows play the same […]

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Ballot petition efforts alive and well, despite the Legislature

BY: - May 15, 2023

Despite the attempts by some legislators to quash the will of the people, ballot petition drives in South Dakota seem to be thriving. Well before the next election in 2024, the secretary of state’s website already lists four measures that are circulating for petition signatures. These include constitutional amendments for open primaries, abortion rights and […]

A vote-here sign, pictured on Nov. 8, 2022, at the All Souls Church on Cliff Avenue in Sioux Falls. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

Native American advocates criticize new election laws as civil rights group drafts recommendations

BY: - May 2, 2023

South Dakota’s Legislature passed 19 election-related bills over the winter, but Native American voting rights advocates say none of the bills addressed their concerns about voter suppression. Meanwhile, some of those advocates are serving on a federal civil rights committee that’s developing recommendations to improve Native American participation in elections. Republican leaders described bills they […]

A Sioux Falls election polling place on the morning of Nov. 8, 2022. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

Without open primaries, taxpayers are shut out of elections they pay for

BY: - April 23, 2023

If there is a growth industry in South Dakota politics, it’s the primary election. Specifically, the Republican primary election. Incumbent Republicans are facing frequent, often grueling, intra-party challenges. In the 2022 election, Gov. Kristi Noem, Sen. John Thune and Rep. Dusty Johnson all faced challengers from within their own party. In the Legislature, there were […]

Joe Kirby, head of South Dakota Open Primaries, signs a petition that aims to allow all voters to cast a vote in the state's primary elections. Kirby is seated next to De Knudson of Sioux Falls, with Tom Dempster of Sioux Falls standing to her left. (John Hult/South Dakota Searchlight)

Open primary push to see opposition from state Republican Party

BY: - April 19, 2023

SIOUX FALLS — A bipartisan group of activists kicked off a petition drive Wednesday that aims to put open primaries on the South Dakota general election ballot in 2024. The proposal would enshrine the right to vote for every primary candidate of every political persuasion for all voters in the South Dakota Constitution, regardless of […]

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks to guests at the 2023 NRA-ILA Leadership Forum on April 13, 2023, in Indianapolis, Indiana. The forum is part of the National Rifle Association’s Annual Meetings & Exhibits. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Noem signs order, gets standing ovation amid presidential speculation at NRA event

BY: - April 14, 2023

Gov. Kristi Noem signed an executive order that she said will bolster gun rights as she spoke to a crowd Friday at the National Rifle Association Leadership Forum in Indianapolis, along with presidential candidates and potential candidates including former President Donald Trump, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and former Vice President Mike Pence. Noem is […]