South Dakota might bar rank-based voting

Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 12:29 PM CST
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PIERRE, S.D. (SDBA) - Ranked-choice voting would not be allowed under a bill passed in a Senate committee Wednesday.

Senate Bill 55 bans ranked voted in any form in any South Dakota election. Ranked-choice voting is also known as instant runoff voting. It passed the Senate State Affairs Committee 7 to 1.

“This will protect our republic and how we elect our leaders,” said Republican Sen. John Wiik from Big Stone City, the bill’s sponsor. “It breaks the long-standing tradition of person, one vote.”

Several citizens and lobbyists spoke in favor of the bill. There were no opponents.

However, the lone vote against the bill, Democratic Sen. Reynold Nesiba, said he did not see a call for the new voting process anywhere in the state.

“We’re banning something not happening,” Nesiba said.

The measure now moves to the Senate floor for debate.