2016 Voter’s guide

U.S. President Candidates


Response explanation: Pro {supports topic}, Con {does not support topic}, NC {does not clearly support or disagree with topic}.

Should any federal taxes be increased?

Clinton: Pro Trump: Con

Is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Trade Agreement good for America?

Clinton: Con Trump: Con

Should any public colleges or universities be tuition-free?

Clinton: Pro Trump: Con

Should schools be gun-free zones?

Clinton: Pro Trump: NC

Should the United States authorize the Keystone XL Pipeline to import tar, sand and oil from Canada?

Clinton: Con Trump: Pro

Is the Black Lives Matter movement good for America?

Clinton: Pro Trump: NC



U.S. Senate Candidates

THUNE – Incombunt (R) vs WILLIAMS (D)


Thune: Safer alternative can be used, such as rail or truck.

Williams: Wants construction halted.


Thune: Tax codes overhauled to create more competitive rates for businesses and corporations.

Williams: Taxes reduced for low-income/middle class, but raised for wealthiest people. Corporate taxes stay the same and make those based overseas pay taxes if they do business in the U.S.

College Affordability

Thune: Paying to get a degree should be manageable. He is working on a proposal to incentivize employers to pay for parts of student loans.

Williams: Raise taxes to have college tuition be federally subsidized. If not approved, the federal government should drop interest rates on student loans and provide more loan forgiveness programs.


Thune: Supports Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Williams: Supports TPP.


Thune: Secure border, verify points of entry before focusing on repercussions for illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants should face some penalty, but deportation likely not appropriate.

Williams: Continue with current enforcement and allow more refugees into the U.S.


Thune: Congress should repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace gradually with a system that would allow for more competition among health insurance providers.

Williams: Country’s Medicare program expanded to all Americans. Private insurers aren’t being “team players” in providing ample options on and off the federal exchanges.

U.S. House Candidates

NOEM – Incombunt (R) vs Hawks (D)


Noem: Tax code needs to be simplified. Tax brackets should be reduced from seven to three and corporate tax should be decreased.

Hawks: Unfair tax codes take more from low-income people than from wealthy and corporations. Corporations overseas should be taxed if they do business in the U.S.

Tax cuts for the wealthiest residents should be restricted and redistributed among middle-class Americans.

College Affordability

Noem: Making college tuition free is unrealistic. Students should have access to additional information about the costs of higher education.

Hawks: Doesn’t support free tuition. Interest rates on federal student loans should be more affordable and loan forgiveness programs should be more common.


Noem: Supports TPP.

Hawks: Re-evaluate the proposal with an emphasis on making the deal more transparent.


Noem: Top priority is to restore security at the border and provide additional resources to aid border patrol agents. Doesn’t support Trump’s proposal to deport millions of illegal aliens, but wouldn’t support amnesty.

Hawks: U.S. has an appropriate vetting process and needs to evaluate where there are resources to accept more refugees and legal immigrants.


Noem: Congress should repeal the Affordable Care Act gradually and replace it with a program that allows for more competition among insurers and lower drug prices.

Hawks: Congress should work to reform the act to continue the programs that are working and cut those that have been unsuccessful.

District 7 Candidates


All candidates said main  issues they’ll address include Medicaid Expansion, Animal Disease and Diagnostic Laboratory


Mary Perpich (D)

Perpich wants to balance legislative power; continue a college tuition freeze, but extend the freeze to online students; improve South Dakota’s needs-based scholarship program and provide public pre-school as its education program.

Larry Tidemann, Incumbent (R)

Like other candidates, Tidemann wants to expand Medicaid, but in a way so it won’t be a fiscal burden on South Dakota’s budget. He will continue to “play defense” to ensure quality K-12 education and work for other education opportunities in South Dakota


Linda Brandt (D)

Brandt wants to improve South Dakota’s needs-based scholarship program; incentivize job opportunities in rural areas for recent graduates to match the needs of people in those areas and create an ethics committee increasing oversight for state programs.

Tim Reed (R)

Reed wants to bring a “progressive and pro-growth attitude” to the Legislature and promote local control; represent small businesses in South Dakota and thinks the Good Samaritan policy addressing drug use should be reintroduced to the Legislature.

Spencer Hawley, Incumbent (D)

Hawley wants to focus on needs-based scholarships, saying South Dakota was the last state to establish a needs-based program for higher education and it’s only being “minimally funded” as of now. He also believes South Dakota officials need to increase watching the accountability of South Dakota programs, such as EB-5 and Gear Up.

Ballot measure breakdown:

Amendment R

Would create a new oversight system for the state’s four technical schools. The schools would be governed by a board, set up by the legislature, independent of local school boards and the Board of Regents.

Amendment S

(Marsy’s Law)

Would give crime victims certain rights, including the right to notice when criminal perpetrators have court hearings or are scheduled for release from custody.

Amendment T

Would change the way legislative district boundaries are determined, transferring the responsibility for setting boundaries from a committee of legislators to a bipartisan panel of voters.

Amendment U

Would provide for an 18 percent cap on payday loans, but also allow unlimited interest rates by written agreement with the borrowers.

Amendment V

Would set nonpartisan elections for federal, state and county offices in South Dakota. All candidates would run on one primary ballot and the top two vote getters, regardless of political party, would move on to the general election.

Referred Law 19

Involves changes legislators made to election procedures, including requirements for obtaining petition signatures and filing deadlines for the petitions.

Initiated Measure 21

Would cap interest rates on payday loans at 36 percent.

Initiated Measure 22

Would allow public money to be used in political campaigns. It would set new campaign finance and lobbyist spending limits and create an ethics commission.

Initiated Measure 23

Would allow organizations, including labor unions, to charge fees to non-members for services provided.