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South Dakota Enacts Publicly Funded Elections

PIERRE, S.D. (CN) — While the outcome of the presidential race kept most Americans enraptured Tuesday night, South Dakota quietly passed a ballot measure that will allow for publicly funded elections in the state.

Initiated Measure 22, the South Dakota Government Accountability and Anti-Corruption Act, squeaked into law with a mere 52 percent majority.

The Act, meant to lessen the influence of "big money" on elections, sets up a tax-funded "democracy credit" system through which registered voters each receive two $50 "credits" to support the political candidate of their choice.

The Act also limits donation amounts from single donors, narrows the definition of what can be considered a "campaign expenditure," and sets up an ethics board to oversee the program.

The measure has attracted attention from outside the state, including funding from billionaire Charles Koch who attempted to block it.

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