Challenged Petitions: Violations Concerns over Signatures
The man who raised election law violation concerns with Annette Bosworth’s campaign has now officially filed documentation with the Secretary of State’s office to challenge the validity of petitions submitted to get the 18 percent cap on the state’s next election ballot. Cory Heidelberger describes his concerns:
Deceptive and illegal tactics gain access to the ballot, so we have a basic question of the integrity of petitions and of the South Dakota ballot.
Heidelberger highlights what he sees as violations with two of the South Dakota notaries.
There are dozens of sheets where the notary appears to have notarized petition sheets on October 4th but then handed back the petition sheet to the circulator who then apparently went out and gathered signatures. The basic evidence on the paper is that the notary seal says October 4th and then all of the actually petition signatures above that say like, later in October or even in November, and that is a flat violation of how this process is supposed to work. You get your signatures, and then you get the notary seal.
Heidelberger says the notaries listed their address as locations for North American Title loans. Concerns with inconsistencies with handwriting are also noted.
Frequent, extensive evidence of penmanship, that doesn’t match up with the circulators or the signers of the petitions. People who weren’t qualified to circulate these petitions actually circulating them, and then hiring local witnesses to put their names on it to cover this crime may well have been happening. The bottom line is the fake 18 percent rate cap petition appears to have used deceptive and illegal tactics to gain access to the ballot.
Opponents to the 18 percent cap measure say it comes with a major loophole for loan applicants where signing a waiver disables the interest rate cap.
The measure for the 36 percent rate cap is absolute, and does not allow for higher interest rates.