Belle Fourche referendum update! The "fewer than 60" signatures that Belle Fourche Chamber exec Teresa Schwanzenbach told the press the Chamber would need to call a referendum on the city council's decision to kick the Chamber out of the city's visitor center sounded quite low to me. So I checked:
- The Butte County Auditor's Office says that, as of this morning, Belle Fourche has 3,489 registered active voters.
- The South Dakota Secretary of State's office confirms what the Black Hills Pioneer and I said: SDCL 9-20-8 says a municipal referendum requires 5% of registered voters as of the date petitions are filed.
- Referring a Belle Fourche City Council decision requires at least 175 signatures.
If petitions circulate in Belle Fource, they won't start until next week, and petitioners would have 20 days to get done. So by that due date next month, the exact voter registration and signature requirement could change a few in either direction. But the signature requirement won't be under 60... not unless 2300 Belle Fourchers are so disillusioned by their city council and by Kristi Noem that they give up on democracy and cancel their voter registration. (Don't do it, friends! There's always hope in democracy!)