Our HB 1094 Referendum seeks to suspend, put to a vote, and repeal House Bill 1094, which the South Dakota Legislature passed and the Governor signed during the 2019 Session.
HB 1094 would require every ballot question petition circulator to register their names, addresses, and phone numbers with the state in a public directory before circulating. It would require paid circulators to pay a fee to circulate. It would require all circulators to wait until the state prints and sends them a numbered badge to circulate. It would subject circulators to fines and jail time if they encourage anyone to sign their petitions while not wearing their badges.
And just for silly extra fun, circulators would have to wear a different badge for each petition they circulate. If a circulator helps out with two petitions, the circulator has to wear two badges.
Requiring circulators to register with the state and obtain badges before circulating violates the basic First Amendment rights of speech and petition. Forcing circulators to publish their names, phone numbers, and home addresses in a public directory puts circulators at risk of harassment from ballot question opponents even before they circulate. Ultimately, rather than providing any security or integrity to the petition process, HB 1094 creates bureaucracy, delay, and personal risk that will chill free speech, deter citizens from participating in ballot question drives, and deprive South Dakotans of opportunities to vote on important issues.
We thus want to repeal HB 1094. If we get 16,961 signatures on our petition by June 27, our petition will suspend HB 1094 and put in on the statewide 2020 ballot. We will encourage all South Dakotans in 2020 to vote NO on the referendum to kill HB 1094 for good.
The full text and Legislative history of HB 1094 is available on the Legislature’s website. Below is the exact text of HB 1094: