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Learn more about the 2016 Legislative Candidates in South Dakota and where to keep up to date with their campaigns! 

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Vote NO on Referred Law 19!

Referred Law 19 was drafted by Incumbents, for Incumbents. Send the Political Establishment a message this November and VOTE NO on RL 19! 

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Vote NO on Referred Law 20!

The Political Establishment wants to LOWER the minimum wage for South Dakota youth. Vote NO on RL 20!  

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Latest News & Blog

President Obama Endorses Red Dawn Foster For State House →


President Barack Obama Endorses Red Dawn Foster For State House in District 27

To listen to an audio recording of President Obama’s endorsement, click here.
WASHINGTON – Today President Barack Obama endorsed Red Dawn Foster in her race for South Dakota House District 27. Foster is among a select group of state legislative candidates from around the country to be endorsed by the President. District 27 encompasses much of southwest South Dakota, including Haakon, Jackson, Oglala Lakota, and Bennett counties, as well as parts of Pennington County.

red-dawn-fosterThis contest has caught national attention due to Foster’s work for social, economic and environmental justice on the Pine Ridge Reservation, focusing on creating a working relationship and open communication and collaboration between primary education schools, communities, nonprofit organizations and Tribal government.

“We are thrilled that President Obama is endorsing our candidates in some of the most competitive races across the country,” said Jessica Post, Executive Director of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. “His endorsement highlights how crucial state legislative elections are to building on the progress the President has achieved and to continuing to move our nation forward.”

“I’m humbled and honored to be receiving President Obama’s endorsement,” said Foster. “I am committed to working for the betterment of all people in District 27 and will continue working hard to carry my progressive agenda forward. Expanding Medicaid to cover more South Dakotans, investing in the education of our children, caring for our veterans, and stimulating job creation and economic development is core to my campaign. Join me in moving South Dakota forward – together we can make a difference!”

“The State Party is very proud that President Obama recognized the importance Red Dawn’s race for the State Legislature and her potential to be a great legislator and advocate for the people of her district,” said Suzanne Jones Pranger, Executive Director of the South Dakota Democratic Party. “We hope this attention from President Obama will show how committed Democrats are to competing in every district in every state and give all our candidates a boost up and down the ballot.”


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The Oglala Sioux Tribe Supports Relocation of Absentee Voting Center →


The Oglala Sioux Tribe Supports Relocation of Absentee Voting Center as Early Voting Turnout in the County is 2/3rds Lower than 2014 Numbers

South Dakota Democratic Party Executive Director Suzanne Jones Pranger issued the following statement on the urgent need for South Dakota Secretary of State Shantel Krebs and the Oglala Lakota County Auditor Sue Ganje to move the Oglala County Absentee Voting Center from its current location at the SuAnne Big Crow Center outside of Pine Ridge.

“We have been working with the Sec. Krebs and Auditor Ganje since last week to change the location to a more accessible and safe place. While the State and County continues to stall with only 14 days before the Election, early voting numbers show the negative effect this location, which is several miles outside of town and the site of a recent homicide, is having on voter turnout.”

“Our records indicate that during the first 31 days of early voting in 2014, a mid-term election year with traditionally lower turnout, there were 159 votes cast in the County. During the first 31 days of early voting in this year’s election, a presidential election year with generally higher turnout, there have only been 55 votes cast. That is nearly a 2/3rds decrease in early voter turnout in the County, showing the significance of the problem with the current location.”

“Further, it is not only our position the location needs to be moved. The Oglala Sioux Tribe also recently issued a letter to Sec. Krebs and Auditor Ganje which cited several factors necessitating the need for the location to be moved, such as the remote location, road construction impeding travel to the location, and safety concerns.”

“We hope Sec. Krebs and the County Auditor reverse their lack of responsiveness to the mounting evidence and change the Absentee Voting location immediately. Failure to do so is a failure to fulfill their duties and has the effect of disenfranchising thousands of South Dakotans.”


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The SDDP Urges Change in Oglala Lakota County Absentee Voting Location


The SDDP Urges Secretary of State Krebs and Oglala Lakota County Auditor to Change Oglala Lakota County Absentee Voting Location

The South Dakota Democratic Party today called upon South Dakota Secretary of State Shantel Krebs and Fall River/Oglala Lakota County Auditor Sue Ganje to change the early voting location in Oglala Lakota County from the SuAnne Big Crow Center in light of the homicide which took place at the center this past weekend.

Henry Red Cloud“The right to vote is one of the most basic and important rights in a democracy,” said Henry Red Cloud, Oglala Sioux Tribal Member and Democratic Candidate for Public Utilities Commission. “When people are unable to exercise that right, or feel uncomfortable exercising that right because they fear for their safety at their polling location, our democracy is diminished.”

Executive Director of the South Dakota Democratic Party Suzanne Jones Pranger said,

“The current early voting location is unsuitable and inaccessible to voters because it is several miles outside the town of Pine Ridge, there is construction on the road to the location causing up to 45 minute travel delays, the road construction makes walking to the location unsafe, and a shooting occurred at the location this past weekend. We have been in talks with the Secretary of State and County Auditor about relocating the absentee voting location in Oglala Lakota County and are hopeful they will move the location as soon as possible to another suggested location that does not unreasonably burden voters.”

Early voting in South Dakota runs through November 7. A picture of the traffic backup on the route to the current early voting location is below.


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SDDP Statement on Noem’s continued support of Donald Trump


SDDP Statement on Noem’s continued support of Donald Trump  

South Dakota Democratic Party Executive Director Suzanne Jones Pranger released the following statement in response to State Rep. Paula Hawks’s debate with Rep. Kristi Noem at last night’s debate on KELO.
     “The State Party congratulates Representative Paula Hawks on another great debate. Once again, Paula showed she is the right choice in this race on the issues important to all South Dakotans, and will make an excellent Representative for South Dakota in Congress.”
     “I also wanted to commend Paula for the courage she showed by sharing her story as a victim of sexual assault. Paula’s story joins the chorus of many other survivors of sexual assault who say that Donald Trump – someone who has been accused by a growing number of women of sexual assault and was caught on video bragging about actions that amount to sexual assault – is unfit to be president.”
      “Rep. Noem’s defense of her support of Donald Trump with debunked right-wing conspiracy theories was incredibly insensitive and shows just how out-of-touch she is from the South Dakota values of respect for others and upholding the dignity of the survivors of horrible crimes like sexual assault. Once again Kristi Noem is putting party loyalty above South Dakota values.”

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SDDP Chair Ann Tornberg Encourages South Dakotans to Register to Vote →


For audio of Chairwoman Tornberg’s statement, click here.

Ann color headshotWith one week to go before the October 24 deadline to register to vote in South Dakota, South Dakota Democratic Party Chair Ann Tornberg released the following statement to encourage South Dakotans to register before the deadline:

“This election is too important to sit out – be sure you are registered to vote! You have one week until the voter registration deadline, so if you recently moved or just turned 18, you have one week to make sure your voice can be heard this election. If you go to your county courthouse to register this week, you also have the opportunity to vote right after you register. The choices we make this election will have a profound impact on the future of our country and state, so I urge all South Dakotans who are legally able to register and vote today.”

The voter registration deadline in South Dakota is October 24. Voters can check their registration and see a sample ballot here, find out more about voter registrationhere, and request an absentee ballot here. A list of in-person absentee ballot locations can be found here.

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