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Do Voters Understand Amendment E?

November 3, 2006, 12:37 PM by Katie Janssen

Do Voters Understand Amendment E?
If Amendment E passes, South Dakota will be the first state in the nation to enact accountability laws for people in judicial positions. But many people may not realize how far the measure reaches. 

You may have seen the signs among the others scattered around Sioux Falls. But we wanted to know if the average voter really understands it. 

Reporter: Do you know about the amendment that holds judges accountable? 

"No," said Jay Greyson of Brookings. 

"I've seen the commercials, but I'm not up to date on the subject," said Christine Neuhart of Sioux Falls. 

Reporter: Are you familiar with Amendment E?
"Vaguely," said Tyler Tryon of Sioux Falls. 

Most people we talked with, both on camera and off, had at least heard of the amendment, but weren't sure what it includes. 

Reporter: Do you know it includes jurors? "No, I did not," said Tryon. Reporter: County Commissioners? "No." City Council members? "No." 

Reporter: School board members? "No," said Neuhart. Reporter: City Council? "No." Jurors? "No." County Commissioners? "No." 

A court decision just this week upheld the measure's description which includes those groups and strips them of judicial immunity... opening them up to lawsuits as well as judges. 

A few voters we talked with were aware of that. 

"Yes, it has to do with anybody potentially serving on a board, a school board, elected position, a lot of volunteer people," said Missy Radigan of Sioux Falls. 

And they’re important details to keep in mind before voting on Amendment E. 

This week U.S. Senators Tim Johnson and John Thune, U.S. Representative Stephanie Herseth and her opponent Bruce Whalen... and Governor Mike Rounds and his opponent Jack Billion issued a joint statement, opposing Amendment E.

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