South Dakota coalition hold petition signing for an independent redistricting commission

Published: Apr. 3, 2021 at 11:00 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Today the coalition “Drawn Together South Dakota” held a petition signing.

The goal is to have an independent citizen commission handle redistricting in South Dakota.

Redistricting happens every 10 years after the completion of the U.S. census. It is the process of adjusting the lines of voting districts.

The reasoning behind redistricting is to make sure districts have nearly equal populations and do not discriminate based on race or ethnicity.

Those in “Drawn Together South Dakota” feel having state legislators make district voting lines, could lead to trouble.

“Gerrymandering is when someone manipulates the lines of the district in order to maximize their voters, so they’re basically picking their voters,” said Amy Scott-Stoltz, of “Drawn Together South Dakota.”

Those involved with “Drawn Together South Dakota” say being able to have petitions to add initiatives to the ballot, help South Dakotans have their voice heard.

“Being able to petition our state legislature, to petition the people so they can have a voice is very important, especially in South Dakota, that’s one of our mainstays were one of the first places to be able to do this,” said Scott-Stoltz.

People who came to the event are glad to get their voices out there.

“I think it’s great that in our state, we can take these ballots, we can petition, and we can overturn what we think we need to, it’s really important in South Dakota the people end up with the final say,” said Erik Kafka, South Dakota resident.

“Drawn Together South Dakota” has just gotten their petition going, but what is most important is educating people about redistricting.

“We are just getting the word out on redistricting is a process that not everyone is familiar with, so we are doing some education pieces on what is redistricting, how can our state be gerrymandered, and what does gerrymander mean, so all of those education pieces come first,” said Scott-Stoltz.

“Drawn Together South Dakota” is planning several more petition signings throughout the summer and our planning to have them across the state.

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