On March 14, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard signed HB 1018, which says a ballot-qualified party can cease to be ballot-qualified if both the national chair of the party, and the state chair of the party, sign a notarized statement saying they wish to eliminate the party. The purpose of this bill (which has other, unrelated election law provisions) is to enable Americans Elect to remove itself from the 2014 primary and general election ballots.
It will be interesting to see which individuals, representing Americans Elect, sign these forms. The Secretary of State has no state chair on file for the party. The national party no longer exists either, so it is not clear that anyone can legitimately claim at this time to be the national chair.
The philosophy behind the bill seems to indicate that the ordinary voters of South Dakota who signed the petition, saying they want the party on the ballot, don’t matter. No do the wishes of the South Dakotans who registered as members of the party. The fact that this bill passed shows that state officials don’t really believe in their hearts that a petition to recognize a political party means that a party has support. Of course, if South Dakota ballot access laws were being challenged in court, the state would be quick to say that the state needs a petition in place (one of the most restrictive in the nation, requiring the signatures of 2.5% of the last gubernatorial vote) to determine which parties have a modicum of voter support.