Judge permanently pulls IM26 from the South Dakota Ballot
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 16, 2018
Contact: Sherry Kurtz-Anderson, 605-610-2275
Sioux Falls, SD (July 16, 2018) – Today, Hughes County Circuit Court Judge Patricia DeVaney issued an order to permanently remove Initiated Measure (IM) 26, the deceptive prescription drug ballot issue, from South Dakota’s November 2018 ballot. Judge DeVaney’s ruling found that proponents of the ballot issue had improperly circulated IM26 petitions under South Dakota law which led to signatures being disqualified. The number of remaining valid signatures was far below the threshold required to qualify for the ballot.
Sherry Kurtz-Anderson, the spokesperson for South Dakotans Against the Deceptive Rx Ballot Issue, the coalition formed to oppose IM26, issued the following statement in the wake of the Court’s decision:
"IM26 was about deception from the beginning. Proponents of this deceptive proposal took a bad idea rejected by voters in California and Ohio, funded it with contributions from an out-of-state health care organization and violated the law in attempting to qualify it for the ballot. We applaud Judge DeVaney for seeing through this deception, applying the clear requirements of South Dakota law, and protecting South Dakota voters and the integrity of the initiative process with her ruling."
South Dakotans Against the Deceptive Rx Ballot Issue filed the complaint in the Hughes County Circuit Court in May 2018 following the certification of the petitions submitted by proponents to the South Dakota Secretary of State. While the Secretary of State followed the statutory requirements in reviewing the signatures, her office is not required to review the circulator oaths or the circulators’ qualifications as South Dakota residents. A court challenge was the only option to address unqualified circulators or improperly circulated petitions.
Washington insider, political activist and failed political candidate Rick Weiland led the IM26 effort in South Dakota. For Michael Weinstein, the CEO of the California-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation that funded the South Dakota measure, being kicked off the ballot in South Dakota is strike three after losing similar measures in both California and Ohio.
PAID FOR BY SOUTH DAKOTANS AGAINST THE DECEPTIVE RX BALLOT ISSUE