Amendment T seeks to end gerrymandering by transferring the power to draw Legislative district boundaries from the Legislature itself to an independent redistricting commission. South Dakota Farmers Union sponsors this amendment.
- Amendment T creates a nine-member independent redistricting commission (IRC) appointed by the state Board of Elections. Members must be registered voters, cannot have changed party affiliation within three years of appointment ,must not have held any elected or political party office for three years prior to appointment, and may not hold such office for three years after such appointment. No more than three members of the commission may be members of the same political party.
- Amendment T requires that the IRC draw “geographically compact and contiguous” legislative districts, as equal in population as practicable, and respecting existing boundaries and communities of interest as much as possible. The IRC may not draw boundaries based on how people in certain areas have voted in past elections, what parties they belong to, or where certain elected officials or possible candidates live.
- If passed, Amendment T would require an immediate redistricting in 2017. Redistricting would then resume its normal decennial cycle, happening the year after every official Census.
Click for Full Text: Amendment T, “An initiated amendment to the South Dakota Constitution to provide for state legislative redistricting by a commission.”
- South Dakota Farmers Union webpage on Amendment T
- Dakota Free Press coverage of Amendment T