South Dakota ballot measure campaigns reaching key deadline

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PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota ballot question groups hoping to put a slew of initiatives before voters next year are hitting a crucial campaign deadline.

Campaigns must turn in thousands of signatures by 5 p.m. Monday to the secretary of state. Supporters have been gathering names on issues ranging from legislative redistricting to establishing open primary elections.

Plans to loosen marijuana laws, cap the price state agencies pay for prescription drugs and ban out-of-state contributions for ballot questions are also among the dozen measures approved for petitioning.

Initiated measures need nearly 14,000 valid signatures, while constitutional amendments require almost 28,000 names to advance to the 2018 ballot.

The Secretary of State's office conducts a random sampling of signatures to determine validity. Supporters of a government ethics amendment have already turned in their signatures.

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