Colorado, Missouri, and Michigan voters approved redistricting reforms last week:
Michigan and Colorado will join California and Arizona in adopting the country’s most independent redistricting processes, says Michael Li, senior counsel for the Brennan Center for Justice. The new commissions will transfer the power to approve election maps from lawmakers to a group of carefully vetted citizens.
Each of Tuesday’s proposals varies in scope. In Missouri, Amendment 1 will task a nonpartisan demographer with drawing district maps. The maps will then need to be approved or changed by a 70 percent vote from the existing commission [Candice Norwood, “‘People Want Their Power Back’: Voters Approve Redistricting Reforms,” Governing, 2018.11.07].
With Tuesday’s ballot questions, now nearly one-third of House districts will be drawn through independent redistricting according to a new report by the Schwarzenegger Institute, by commission or other methods. Schwarzenegger’s goal is to get that number to half by the end of 2020, and he already has his eyes on Virginia, among other states.
…“If that’s what it takes to get the signatures, I will be the one to do it. I’m not ashamed of standing in a mall and asking people for signatures,” Schwarzenegger said. “Anything that works and gets us there, because in the end the only thing I care about is to actually achieve our goal. We’ll improvise as we go along, because every state has different needs, and we don’t know where it’s going to take us” [Edward Isaac-Dovere, “Arnold Schwarzenegger’s War on Gerrymandering Is Just Beginning,” The Atlantic, 2018.11.09].
Schwarzenegger endorsed the failed open-primaries initiative, Amendment V, in South Dakota in 2016. South Dakotans turned down that measure and the Amendment T independent redistricting commission by about 40,000 and 50,000 votes, respectively. Bring Schwarzenegger to the Empire Mall for a couple days, or maybe have him do a bike and gym tour of our fair state, and I’ll bet we could recruit of few more voters to end gerrymandering in South Dakota.
Related Reading: Learn more about redistricting and the need to draw South Dakota’s election map more fairly in my four-part series on the League of Women Voters’ October forum on redistricting in Aberdeen:
- Citizens Practice Redistricting; Cory Flips the Map to Avoid Gerrymandering!
- Fouberg Discusses History and Practice of Redistricting—Academic Anti-Gerrymandering Committee in the Works?
- Panel Discussion: South Dakota Redistricting Process Needs Reform
- Wismer Pounds Novstrup with Straight Talk on Gerrymandering