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Petition Drive To Get Independent On Ballot

February 27, 2012, 9:55 PM by Don Jorgensen

Petition Drive To Get Independent On Ballot
SIOUX FALLS, SD - A petition drive underway in South Dakota would allow third-party independent candidates to be on the ballot for the state's June 5 primary.

Those behind the effort say they want to break the gridlock in Washington, open up the political process and give every single voter-Democrat, Republican or Independent-the power to nominate a presidential candidate in 2012. 

One by one, workers for Americans Elect are collecting voter signatures in order to allow an independent candidate on South Dakota's June primary ballot.

Don Jorgensen: Can I ask you why you decided to sign that petition?
Betty Winesburg: Because I believe an independent has a right to be on the ballot

South Dakota has two recognized political parties that may participate in the primary election: the Democratic Party and Republican Party.  But those who are signing the petition would like to see that changed. 

"Everyone should have equal opportunity to get their views out there and people can decide whether or not they want to vote for them," Josiah Dunlap of Sioux Falls said.

The goal of Americans Elect is to nominate a presidential ticket that answers to voters, not the political system. Even some of those who signed the petition to give voters another choice say a third party would still have a tough time getting votes. 

"Republican or Democrat is going to win anyway, but they have a right to be on there too," Gregg Chase of Sioux Falls said.

They need to collect nearly 8,000 valid petition signatures and turn them into the Secretary of State's office by March 27.

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