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Fates unclear for three ballot measures proposed for the general election ballot

PIERRE--The legal status remains unclear for three measures that supporters hoped to get on South Dakota's general-election ballot this fall. Secretary of State Shantel Krebs plans to decide their fate soon, according to her spokesman, Jason Will...

PIERRE-The legal status remains unclear for three measures that supporters hoped to get on South Dakota's general-election ballot this fall.

Secretary of State Shantel Krebs plans to decide their fate soon, according to her spokesman, Jason Williams.

Krebs earlier determined that one of the measures, seeking to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes, lacked sufficient valid signatures.

Its backers have challenged her ruling.

Two other measures, both dealing with short-term lenders, have been challenged by each other's supporters.

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One would cap interest rates at 18 percent unless there is a written agreement allowing a higher interest rate. It is Constitutional Amendment U.

The other would cap interest rates at 36 percent for all such payday loans. It is Initiated Measure 21.

Krebs hasn't reached decisions on those two, according to Williams. "We are hoping to have them completed within the next three weeks," he said.

Any of the secretary of state's ballot-measure decisions can be appealed to circuit court under South Dakota law.

Williams said ballot creation would start Aug. 12 after the drawings for candidates' positions. The deadline for county auditors to have ballots printed for the general election is Sept. 21.

The general-election ballot will be crowded with statewide measures for voters to decide.

They include:

Constitutional Amendment R, submitted by the Legislature in 2015, to clarify the Board of Regents doesn't govern the public technical institutes, currently run by local school districts;

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Referred Law 19, passed by the Legislature in 2015, that changed many elections laws (SB 69);

Referred Law 20, passed by the Legislature in 2015, that set a lower minimum wage for youths (SB 177);

Constitutional Amendment S, submitted by petitioners, to establish crime victims' rights in the South Dakota Constitution;

Constitutional Amendment T, submitted by petitioners, to have legislative districts drawn by a special commission rather than the Legislature;

Initiated Measure 22, submitted by petitioners, to change campaign finance and lobbying laws;

Constitutional Amendment V, submitted by petitioners, making South Dakota's elections non-partisan; and

Initiated Measure 23, submitted by petitioners, allowing certain organizations such as labor groups to charge fees.

The deadline is past for challenges to the secretary of state on whether they have sufficient valid signatures.

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However, a state law allows any ballot measure to be challenged in circuit court regardless whether there was a challenge to the secretary of state.

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