Open Primaries petition has obtained 25,000 signatures

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.(KXLG)- The South Dakota Open Primaries group announced that it has gathered 25,000 signatures to put an open primaries constitutional amendment on the 2024 ballot. The group aims to get 50,000 before filing petitions with the state by May 7.

The petition drive began in April.

The proposed initiative would establish a top-two open primary system for elections for U.S. Senate, U.S. House, governor, state Legislature, and county elective offices. In each race, all the candidates would compete in a single primary open to all South Dakota voters. The two candidates receiving the most votes would advance to the general election. The ballot would continue to indicate the party affiliation of each candidate.

The group believes primary elections in South Dakota, which are taxpayer-funded, should be open to all voters regardless of political party affiliation. Under the current system, South Dakota Open Primaries members say too many South Dakotans are excluded from the primary process.