SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — There’s a large group of undecided voters on Amendment D and a close race regarding Initiated Measure 27, according to the results of a recent South Dakota State University poll.
The SDSU poll, which conducted an online survey for 565 registered South Dakota voters Sept. 28 through Oct. 10, showed 53% of South Dakotans supported Medicaid expansion, 20% were opposed and 27% of voters were undecided.
For IM 27, which would legalize small amounts of marijuana for adults age 21 or older, 45% of South Dakotans said they support, 47% are opposed and 8% were undecided. The margin of error for the SDSU poll was +/- 4%.
You can find a full breakdown of the poll on the SDSU poll’s website.
Amendment D would amend the South Dakota Constitution to expand Medicaid eligibility to help provide medical coverage for low-income people in designated categories. The Legislative Research Council’s Fiscal Note for Amendment D says Medicaid expansion would cover 42,500 new individuals for a cost of $297 million, which would cost the state $32.5 million and give $63.5 million in general fund savings.
The SDSU poll said 27% of voters being undecided on Amendment D was not surprising.
“This is a highly technical issue where voters might not be comfortable in definitively stating a preference either in a poll or on the ballot itself,” the results from the SDSU poll read. “But, like every other state that has put Medicaid expansion to the people in an initiative, the measure here is rather popular and is likely to pass.”
Proponents to Medicaid expansion say it will return more federal tax money to the state and allow South Dakota to use more federal funds on resident’s health.
Opponents to Medicaid expansion in South Dakota have said expanding health care will impact the state’s budget in the future.
Initiated Measure 27
IM 27 would legalize marijuana in small amounts for people age 21 and older. The measure legalizes substances considered felony-controlled substances under State law. Marijuana remains illegal under Federal law.
The SDSU poll noted recreational marijuana passed in 2020 through Constitutional Amendment A 54% to 46%. The poll showed 47% opposed to IM 27 and 45% in favor of IM 27.
“Given the 4% margin of error of this survey, we expect a very close vote,” the SDSU poll said.
Proponents say legalizing small amounts gives people 21 or older the freedom to choose whether to use marijuana and allows police to focus on harsher crimes.
Opponents say legal marijuana will increase marijuana use for kids and not help foster healthy families.