The South Dakota Secretary of State’s omnibus bill, HB 1018, would allow a ballot-qualified party to tell the Secretary of State that it no longer wishes to be ballot-qualified. The national chair and the state chair would both be required to sign paperwork, ending the party’s qualified status. The bill seems faulty because it is entirely possible that a party ballot-qualified in South Dakota might not have a national chair, or any national officers. There are many ballot-qualified parties in the United States that are not part of a national party organization. Such parties exist currently in Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Vermont.
Americans Elect is a ballot-qualified party in South Dakota currently, because it successfully petitioned in 2011, and in South Dakota, once a party petitions, it remains on the ballot until it has gone through a gubernatorial election and failed to poll 2.5% of the vote for Governor. South Dakota, like most states, doesn’t elect its Governor in presidential years, so Americans Elect is now ballot-qualified for 2014.
The bill also provides that a candidate cannot notarize his or her own ballot access petition. And it makes it illegal for a group to circulate a petition for party status more than one year before that petition is due.