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Gant: Pamphlet law was followed

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news Mitchell, 57301
The Daily Republic
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Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

South Dakota Secretary of State Jason Gant says there's a simple reason no opposing statements on four proposed constitutional amendments were printed in a pamphlet that provides election information.

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None were submitted, Gant said Monday, even after he sought them.

He followed state law when he didn't print opposing statements, Gant said, despite a claim he violated state law from state Sen. Stan Adelstein, R-Rapid City.

"I definitely followed the law," Gant said. "This was even more open than it had been in the past."

The law, SDCL 12-13-23, states that the secretary of state "shall compile" statements written by proponents and opponents of the ballot questions -- "if any can be identified."

Gant said he made several efforts to get pro and con statements on the seven ballot questions on the Nov. 6 ballot. There are pro and con statements on the two referred laws and the initiated measure on the ballot, but only pro statements for the four proposed constitutional amendments.

Adelstein said he remains convinced Gant broke the law.

"Absolutely," he said in a telephone interview with The Daily Republic. "He couldn't find anybody because he didn't look."

Adelstein said he doesn't believe Gant made a real effort to seek opposing views for the pamphlet.

"He couldn't find anybody because he didn't look in the proper place," he said.

Adelstein said none of the legislators who opposed the amendments was asked to write opposing statements on the proposed amendments.

"He didn't call me," he said. "Why didn't he call me? He couldn't find me?"

A new set of pamphlets should be distributed with opposing views included, Adelstein said. He said he is seeking legal advice in an effort to require it.

"He has clearly broken the law and he's clearly guilty of a misdemeanor because he didn't print it," he said.

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