S.D. Attorney General’s Office Provides S.D. Farmers Union with Title & Explanation Ahead of Schedule
July 15, 2015
Last week, the S.D. Attorney General's Office provided South Dakota Farmers Union Board of Directors with the title and explanation language for the Constitutional Amendment addressing Legislative Redistricting.
Board members are pleased with the prompt response of the Attorney General's office in processing their request ahead of schedule.
"Now is the time to act," said Doug Sombke, South Dakota Farmers Union President. "A nonpartisan, Redistricting Commission empowers voters allowing them to choose their legislators, not the other way around. With the guidelines established in the Constitutional Amendment, this new commission will end the harmful practice of gerrymandering and restore voter participation in South Dakota."
South Dakota Farmers Union has united with a number of organizations to form the #SDRtThing2Do Coalition. This coalition looks to be a positive force in South Dakota and will begin collecting petition signatures for a Constitutional Amendment on Redistricting very soon. Before voters have the opportunity to vote this Constitutional Amendment into law, the group will need to collect 27,741 signatures to get it on the Nov. 2016 ballot.
"For too long we have had misrepresentation as a result of poor redistricting practices," said Wayne Soren, South Dakota Farmers Union Vice President. "South Dakota Farmers Union, along with the other organizations, chose to amend the state's Constitution as it pertains to redistricting because it is the right thing to do."
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Below is the title and explanation provided by the South Dakota Attorney General's office:
Title: An initiated amendment to the South Dakota Constitution to provide for state legislative redistricting by a commission
Explanation: State senators and representatives are elected from within legislative districts. The South Dakota Constitution currently requires the Legislature to establish these legislative districts every ten years. This measure removes that authority from the Legislature and grants it to a redistricting commission.
The commission is made up of nine registered voters selected each redistricting year by the State Board of Elections from a pool of up to 30 applicants. This pool consists of applicants registered with South Dakota's two largest political parties (ten from each), and ten not registered with either of those parties. A commission member must have the same party registration, or be registered as unaffiliated with a party, for three continuous years immediately prior to appointment.
No more than three commission members may belong to the same political party. For three years immediately prior to and three years immediately after appointment, commission members may not hold office in certain state or local public offices, or in a political party organization.
The commission will redistrict in 2017, in 2021, and every ten years thereafter. The commission must produce a draft map and allow for public comment. The districts must be drawn in compliance with state and federal law.
To learn more about #SDRtThing2Do Coalition and learn how you can sign the petition or volunteer to collect petitions, contact Mark Remily, #SDRtThing2Do Coalition Campaign Coordinator at 605-352-6761 ext: 117 or firstname.lastname@example.org.