South Dakota Libertarian and Constitution Parties File Amended Complaint to Challenge Old Petition Deadline

Ballot Access News

On July 21, the South Dakota Libertarian Party and the South Dakota Constitution Party filed an amended complaint in their lawsuit against the South Dakota deadline for a new party to get on the ballot. The case had been filed on June 15 to challenge the March 1 deadline that the legislature had passed this year, as part of SB 69. After the case was filed, opponents SB 69 filed a referendum petition, which suspends SB 69 until the voters vote on it in November 2016.

In response to the referendum petition, the state filed a brief saying the lawsuit should be dismissed, because the issue of the March 1 deadline may be moot if the voters reject the new law.

The two political parties have now responded by saying they also believe the original March 29 deadline is unconstitutionally early. The March 29 deadline was passed in 2007 and was in effect until SB 69 passed. Technically the March 29 deadline is still in effect, at least for the 2016 election. Before 2007, the deadline had been in April. No one had previously challenged the March 29 deadline in court.

The judge will soon decide whether the plaintiffs are permitted to amend their complaint at this stage of the lawsuit. It is likely that she will permit the new Complaint to be admitted.

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