South Dakota is governed by the constitution of 1889, which had been amended 112 times by January 2003. The legislature consists of a 35-seat senate and 70-seat house of representatives; all members serve two-year terms. Convening every January, regular sessions are limited to 40 legislative days in oddnumbered years and 35 legislative days in even-numbered years. To run for the legislature, a person must be at least 21 years old, a US citizen, a qualified voter in their district, and must have resided in the state for at least two years prior to election. As of 2002 the legislative salary was $12,000 for two years.
Executives elected statewide are the governor and lieutenant governor (elected jointly), secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer, auditor, and commissioner of school and public lands, all of them elected for four-year terms. (Voters also elect three public utility commissioners and the 15 members of the Board of Education, who all serve six-year terms.) A candidate for governor must be at least 18 years old and have been a resident of the state for at least two years and a US citizen for at least two years prior to election. The governor is limited to serving two consecutive terms. In 2002 the governor's salary was $95,389.
A bill passed by the legislature becomes law if signed by the governor, if left unsigned by the governor for five days (including Sundays) while the legislature is in session (15 days, including Sundays, if has adjourned), or if passed over the governor's veto by two-thirds of the elected members of each house. Constitutional amendments may be proposed by the legislature with a majority vote in both houses. If the amendment is approved by a majority of voters during general elections, it becomes part of the constitution. Amendments may also be proposed by initiative (by petition of 10% of total votes for governor at last election).
Voters must be US citizens, at least 18 years old, and state residents. Restrictions apply to convicted felons and those declared mentally incompetent by the court.