After Dan Lederman’s article pointing out that the assertion that Republicans win because of alleged gerrymandering was fantasy, State Senator Jim Bolin also took the time to go into detail, and debunk claims that the redistricting process is somehow unfair:
Fourthly, the cry of some that gerrymandering is the cause of the current problems of the S.D. Democrat Party is clearly debunked by the election results in District No. 27. This is the most Democrat District in the state by voter registration. It should be a place where the Democrats win easily because it encompasses Oglala Lakota and Bennett Counties, both of which are strongly Democrat in voter registration. Instead, since the election of 2012, the GOP has had representation from this district in every session of the legislature. When the Democrats cannot win all the seats in their strongest district, the cry of unfair legislative districts has a very hollow ring.
Lastly, the plan of 2011, was approved in a bipartisan manner with Sen. Jim Bradford, a Democrat from Pine Ridge, supporting the plan. If it were so blatantly unfair, it would not have gained his support. In addition, the Indian Reservation District lines had to be approved by the Obama Justice Department and they did give their agreement. The public should also know that no lawsuit has been filed to overturn the current map as did occur in the previous decade. If the lines were illegal, the ACLU or other groups, would have taken action.
These indisputable facts should clearly demonstrate to the public that the notion of unfair boundary lines is, as GOP Chair Dan Lederman stated, “A fantasy.” If the leaders of the S.D. Democrat party want to persist in this belief, that is their option, but their claims are not credible. The redistricting committee of 2011 met every legal criteria and produced a reasoned and fair map. I am very proud of the work of the committee and the public should be as well.