South Dakota AG joins 22 states in opposing federal intervention in state election law

PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg has joined with 22 other state attorneys general opposing the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, or H.R. 4.

The letter is addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Minority Leaders Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell, and expresses concern regarding the impact the legislation would have on election systems.

“This legislation ignores a states’ legitimate interest in preventing voter fraud,” said Ravnsborg in a release. “We need to safeguard the right to vote and ensure that every legal vote is counted without being diluted by illegal votes.”

H.R. 4 establishes a new criteria for determining which states and political subdivisions must obtain preclearance from the Department of Justice (DOJ) or the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia before making legal changes that would affect voting rights.

If the bill is signed into law, states and all of its political subdivisions shall be subject to preclearance of voting practice changes for a 10-year period if:

  • 15 or more voting rights violations occurred in the state during the previous 25 years;
  • 10 or more violations occurred during the previous 25 years, at least 1 of which was committed by the state itself; or
  • 3 or more violations occurred during the previous 25 years and the state administers the elections.

“If these provisions are enacted, rest assured that the undersigned will aggressively defend our citizens’ rights to participate in free and fair elections without unconstitutional federal intrusion,” the letter states.

South Dakota joins the letter with Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.

The full letter can be read here.

Categories: Local News, Politics & Elections, South Dakota News