Shhh! It?s a secret

Hannah Baker

Hannah Baker News Editor

One of the many issues voters will have to consider when going to the polls on Nov. 2 is whether to vote “Yes” or “No” on Amendment K.

According to the Save our Secret (SOS) Ballot website, if the amendment passes, the South Dakota Constitution will read:

“The right of individuals to vote by secret ballot is fundamental. If any state or federal law requires or permits an election for public office, for any initiative or referendum, or for any designation or authorization of employee representation, the right of any individual to vote by secret ballot in any such election shall be guaranteed.”

In other words, the proposed amendment to the Constitution would give a person the right to vote by secret ballot to prevent others from knowing how he or she voted. A vote “Yes” is for guaranteeing a right to vote by secret ballot. A vote “No” is against the constitutional amendment.

Bob Burns, distinguished professor emeritus of political science, said currently workers in the labor force could be under pressure to vote a certain way. By having secret ballot voting, it would help allow people to vote the way they wanted without fear of reprimand.

“Labor union leaders would see it as a benefit because it would deny ownership (businesses) influence on outcomes of elections and the pressure to vote a certain way would decrease.”

Burns said by having this on the ballot, South Dakota is more or less “sending a message” to Congress that South Dakota wants to retain secret ballot voting.

Other states are also filing the same initiative, including Arkansas, Missouri, Nevada, and Utah.