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Local group protests U.S. health care plan

Jay Sinkie, 19, of Mitchell, sits along Havens Avenue Saturday afternoon with a sign that reads: "Stop Obamacare, Sign the Petition." Sinkie and several others have been collecting signatures for a petition to put the South Dakota Health Care Freedom Act on the ballot this November, which they said would nullify certain federal health-care provisions within the state of South Dakota. (Laura Wehde/Republic Photo)

Many motorists in Mitchell over the weekend saw signs along the side of the road that said "Stop Obamacare -- Sign the Petition."

Jay Sinkie, 19, of Mitchell, and several others stationed themselves in the former Old Home Bread parking lot and several other locations around Mitchell on Saturday with the signs.

They asked people to sign a petition seeking to put the South Dakota Health Care Freedom Act on the ballot this November, which they said would nullify certain federal health-care provisions within the state of South Dakota.

Sinkie and others who participated are part of the Mitchell 9.12 project, a political awareness group. The group has been going door-todoor and holding signs in parking lots since last Thursday, and has collected approximately 200 signatures.

"This would give South Dakota the option of opting out of federally run health care," Sinkie said.

Cody Horton, 19, of Mitchell, also flagged down cars along Havens Avenue on Saturday afternoon.

"The response has been very positive," he said. "Many people have been honking, waving and giving us the thumbs-up."

Horton is a political science and history major at the University of South Dakota and was home on Easter break. He said that approximately 350 to 500 people statewide were joining in on the petition effort.

"This is one of the last main things we can do to prevent federally mandated health care," he said.

The due date for the petition is Tuesday, the petition carriers said.

About 20,000 names have to be collected in order for it to be added to November's ballot.

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