Equality South Dakota Political Action Committee Endorsements

Election Day is a week away. PLEASE VOTE!! You can vote early at your local county auditor’s office.

EqSD PAC is endorsing 43 legislative candidates and opposing 46 legislative candidates. These are detailed in the EqSD PAC Voters Guide.

EqSD PAC is also supporting Amendment T. Amendment T would create an independent commission to re-draw legislative districts every 10 years. This would eliminate gerrymandered districts which result in conservative legislators being elected.

EqSD PAC is also endorsing Amendment V which would establish non-partisan elections. Nathan Leach offers this explanation for Amendment V:

I grew up in Kearney, Nebraska, a moderately conservative city of 35,000. I came out as gay early in high school, and got involved in promoting LGBTQIA issues early on. Seeing as I’ve always been interested in politics, my junior year of high school in 2014 a friend and I organized a group of LGBTQIA students and allies and we met with our local state senator, Galen Hadley (who is an 74 year old white male and the Speaker of the Nebraska Legislature) at a local coffee shop. We wanted to ask him to vote in favor LGBT workplace protections. To our shock, he said he would – and he voted in favor of the bill two years in a row! What shocked us more is that Speaker Hadley wasn’t the only Republican to support it. In fact, even though Nebraska’s State Legislature has a super-majority of Republicans, the hard-core conservatives had to filibuster the bill to keep the Democrats and moderate Republicans from passing it!

Outside of Nebraska, there is no state in the US where the Republican leader of the Legislature would support these kinds of LGBTQIA issues. Why is Nebraska different? Because of nonpartisan elections.

Amendment V creates nonpartisan elections for all elected offices in South Dakota, mirroring the Nebraska model. It puts all candidates running for office on a single primary ballot without party designation, voters can vote for whichever candidate they want, and the top-two vote getters go onto the general election regardless of party. This lets all voters (includes Independents – and there are 115,000 of them in South Dakota) vote in the primary. Candidates are then forced to get votes from all voters, not just their party base, and as a result politicians are less concerned about the political parties they belong to, and more concerned about the voters they serve! That’s why so many Republican legislators supported LGBTQ workplace protections in a red state like Nebraska.

And the same holds true for other traditionally partisan issues like the gas tax, the death penalty, and allowing children of undocumented immigrants the ability to get drivers licenses. Again and again, legislators in Nebraska put people before politics, and consider these issues like normal humans. Amendment V makes politicians people servants, not party servants.
If Amendment V passes, the Republican Party can no longer force open-minded Republicans to oppose common-sense LGBTQIA issues, and more moderate Republicans (like Galen Hadley in Nebraska) are more likely to get elected and pay attention to our community. This Amendment would be a huge step forward for LGBTQIA issues in South Dakota, and it needs your support! Our polling shows that it’s a neck-and-neck race, and every vote will make a huge difference.