RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — Organizers of a petition drive seeking a statewide vote on a measure that would raise South Dakota's minimum wage say they have collected about half the signatures they intend to gather.

The South Dakota Democratic Party and some labor unions are seeking a statewide vote next year to raise the minimum wage from the current $7.25 an hour to $8.50 in January 2015. The measure would raise the minimum wage each year after that to account for inflation.

KOTA-TV reports petition gatherers have been stationed at the county courthouse and U.S. Post Office in Rapid City.

Organizers will need to get at least 15,855 valid petition signatures by Nov. 4 to put the issue on next year's ballot, but they are seeking 25,000 to make sure they have enough.

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