Vote now in the latest Dakota Free Press poll! I’m asking you, dear readers, if you will vote for Amendment T, the proposal to create an independent redistricting commission to end gerrymandering in South Dakota.
I’m utterly biased on T. I circulated the petition to place this measure on the ballot last year (and Farmers Union paid me to do so!). Gerrymandering itself is a contemptible practice in which legislators use their own power for their personal political gain. The arguments I’ve heard self-interested Republicans offer range from elitist (“legislators are probably more enlightened“) to specious (redistricting pitted Republicans against Republicans, so it must be fair) to outright false (there is no gerrymandering in South Dakota). I have heard weak arguments that T’s independent redistricting commission could be hijacked by partisans on the Board of Elections (nope: read the map-drawing criteria T writes into the constitution) and that it will cost more (wrong: T pays for itself and starts bringing savings by its third go-round in 2030). The closest I’ve heard opponents come to finding some principle on which to indict T is the contention that district maps should be drawn by elected officials (status quo) rather than an unelected board (T), but that argument gets shaky when T proponents note that elected officials can draw boundaries that insulate themselves from the wrath of voters mapped out into other districts.
Cast your vote in the near right sidebar, and submit your favorite arguments for and against T here in the comment section. I opened this poll yesterday; I’ll take answers through breakfast Wednesday. Vote now, and recruit your friends!