Panelists discuss Amendment T at State Fair
September 6, 2016
HURON, S.D. – On Election Day 2016 South Dakota voters will have an opportunity to vote for fair elections by voting 'yes' for Amendment T.
Amendment T is a ballot measure sponsored by #SDRightThing2Do Coalition which South Dakota Farmers Union supports. Amendment T puts voters back in charge of their elections, explains Matt Sibley, South Dakota Farmers Union Legislative Specialist during a panel discussion hosted by the agriculture organization today at the South Dakota State Fair in Huron.
"Under Amendment T, a nine-member committee of voters, all non-legislators, will be in charge of drawing the voting maps. This gets voters involved in their democracy and puts them back in charge," Sibley said.
Sibley was joined by a former legislator, Paul Dennert and President of the League of Women Voters, Judy Hall.
"We thought the State Fair would be the perfect forum to answer voters' questions because the South Dakota State Fair brings together folks from across the state," Sibley said. "We're not only explaining what Amendment T is, but how, once it becomes part of the South Dakota State Constitution, it would positively impact policy moving forward."
Alan Fenner, a farmer from Menno, appreciated the opportunity to listen and have questions answered.
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"There are so darn many amendments on the ballot that I wanted to learn more before I vote," Fenner said.
Grassroots policy development is a cornerstone of South Dakota Farmers Union which was established more than a century ago to support family farmers and ranchers and rural communities. Doug Sombke, SDFU President and a fourth-generation family farmer says he will vote 'yes' for Amendment T because it gives all voters a voice.
"Not only does Amendment T establish an all voter committee, it also provides South Dakotans with a 30-day public comment period to express any comments or concerns with the voting maps before they are finalized by the committee," Sombke explained. "So even if you are not selected to serve on the committee, you still have an opportunity to participate in this important process."
Voice of the Voters is one of several events South Dakota Farmers Union hosted today during Farmers Union Day at the State Fair. For more information about Amendment T, visit http://www.yesont.us.
–South Dakota Farmers Union