South Dakota: Into Your Life It Will Creep

By February 9, 2007Briefly Legal

Ah, Amendment E. readers will remember that the South Dakota initiated measure would have allowed suits against judges and other public officials as individuals for decisions they made in their official capacity. (Previous posts here.) If passed, the measure would have opened the state to a flood of meritless lawsuits, jamming up the court system and discouraging officials from performing their duties. Litigiousness would have drowned South Dakota’s economy while inviting similar, destructive initiatives in other states.

Voters rejected Amendment E by a margin of 89-11 percent, which sent the supporters into paroxysms of paranoid accusations. Election fraud! Corruption! Deceit! Oligarchies of oppression! (Well, we made that last one up.)

The truth of the matter?

Secretary of State Chris Nelson was surprised that advocates of the Judicial Accountability measure say there was voter fraud in the Nov. 7 election because of use of Diebold voting and counting machines that have been criticized in other parts of the country.

Says Nelson: “For the record, there are no Diebold voting machines or Diebold ballot-counting machines in South Dakota. Any claims that the vote count on Amendment E were not correct are false.”

Well, that should settle the matter.