Two citizen initiatives and one legislatively referred constitutional amendment will appear on the November ballot in South Dakota. The signature deadline for ballot measures targeting the 2020 ballot in South Dakota passed on November 3, 2019.
The South Dakota State Legislature, which can refer measures to the ballot, adjourned on March 30, 2020.
The two citizen initiatives on the ballot concern marijuana. Initiated Measure 26, sponsored by New Approach South Dakota, would establish a medical marijuana program in South Dakota for individuals who have a debilitating medical condition (defined) as certified by a physician. Constitutional Amendment A, sponsored by South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, would legalize the recreational use of marijuana for individuals 21 years old and older. It would also require the state legislature to pass laws providing for a program for medical marijuana and the sale of hemp by April 1, 2022. South Dakota will be the first state to vote on recreational and medical marijuana at the same election.
The state legislature referred a constitutional amendment to the ballot to legalize sports betting in Deadwood, South Dakota, with revenues dedicated to the historic restoration and preservation of Deadwood. Sports betting was banned at the federal level under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) until a 2018 United States Supreme Court decision, Murphy v. NCAA, overturned that federal ban and allowed states to legalize sports betting.
From 1996 through 2018, a total of 74 measures have appeared on the ballot during even-numbered election years in South Dakota, of which 39% were approved and 61% were defeated.
As of March 31, no changes impacting election dates and procedures due to the coronavirus in South Dakota have been announced.