(The Center Square) - South Dakota voters will decide in November if the state should expand Medicaid to low-income residents between the ages of 18 and 65.

Secretary of State Steven Barnett said in a news release Monday that 33,922 signatures are required for a proposed constitutional amendment to appear on the ballot and 38,244 valid signatures were submitted to his office.

A coalition of patient advocates, nurses, health care providers and others formed a group called South Dakotans Decide Healthcare to push for the issue on the ballot.

Zach Marcus, campaign manager for the group, said he was grateful to those who signed the petition.

“Medicaid expansion will be an economic driver for South Dakota. It will boost our economy, save rural hospitals, create jobs, help ensure hard-working South Dakotans don’t drown in medical debt, and bring our hard-earned tax dollars home,” Marcus said. “This is a healthcare issue, but it’s also a commonsense dollars and cents issue.”

Two-thirds of South Dakota residents surveyed by the American Association of Retired Persons in September said they would likely or very likely support Medicaid expansion.

The issue will appear as Amendment D on the November 8, 2022 ballot.

The ballot questions could be challenged, according to Barnett. Residents have 30 days to submit a challenge, which runs out Feb. 3.

Associate Editor

Kim Jarrett's career spans over 30 years with stops in radio, print and television. She has won awards from both the Georgia Press Association and the Georgia Association of Broadcasters.