Attorney General Explanation Released for Initiated Constitutional Amendment Regarding Legislative Redistricting

Attorney General Explanation Released for Initiated Constitutional Amendment Regarding Legislative Redistricting

Marty JackleyPIERRE –South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today an Attorney General Explanation for a proposed Constitutional Amendment has been filed with the Secretary of State. This statement will appear on petitions that will be circulated by the sponsor of the proposed amendment. If the sponsor obtains a sufficient number of signatures on the petitions by November 9, 2015, as certified by the Secretary of State, the measure will be placed on the ballot for the November 2016 general election. This is a measure to change the Constitution, as opposed to changing state statutes (which requires 13,871) and the sponsor will need 27,741 signatures.

1. An initiated amendment to the South Dakota Constitution to provide for state legislative redistricting by a commission.

Under South Dakota law, the Attorney General is responsible for preparing explanations for proposed initiated measures, referred laws, and South Dakota Constitutional Amendments. Specifically, the explanation includes a title, an objective, clear and simple summary of the purpose and effect of the proposed measure and a description of the legal consequences.

To view the Attorney General Explanation for the measure, as well as the final form of the measure submitted to this office, please click on the link:

To date the Attorney General has released Attorney General Explanations for the following:

1. An initiated measure to set a maximum finance charge for certain licensed money lenders.

2. An initiated amendment to the South Dakota Constitution to allow referral of state and municipal laws affecting public peace, health, safety and the support of government and also to limit the ability to amend or repeal initiated laws.

3. An initiated measure to legalize marijuana for medical use.

4. An initiated measure to decriminalize the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana and
marijuana paraphernalia.

5. An initiated measure to criminalize the transfer of alcoholic beverages.

6. An initiated measure to criminalize the transfer of tobacco and tobacco paraphernalia.

13 thoughts on “Attorney General Explanation Released for Initiated Constitutional Amendment Regarding Legislative Redistricting”

  1. A bunch of these seem crazy how about a measure to restrict having these worthless measures?! What a waste of time and money.

  2. I’m completely opposed to this idea. The one problem I find with it is finding people to serve on this board/commission/group/ gaggle/whatever. It is hard enough to muster up enough people to run office in some areas.

    however, this is the way our government works. Let the people’s voice be heard.

  3. A committee with real power and only 1/3 of the members are from the Republic Party? Why would the slopesided simpletons on the right be opposed to this “fair and balanced” approach to equality in elections? Because they’re BULLIES? Because they might not get their way? Let’s hear some valid objections, conservatives. Use your imagination …. oh, yeah. That’s not in your playbook, huh?

    1. Where is the inequality in elections, Port-air? You socialists will try every opportunity to win an election in South Dakota including gerrymandering. Do you ever talk about the bullies in DC? How about Obama, a hero of yours, I’m sure, subverting the Constitution to get his way? Do you ever look at the Supreme Court and think that maybe they are bullying the American people by re-writing laws instead of interpreting them? I thought not. It’s not in your playbook to criticize the socialists who are ruining the country. Take your whining to one of the socialist centers on either the left of far left coast.

      You are such a simpleton, Port-air.

  4. I oppose this initiative for the following reasons:

    1) An appointed board not accountable to the voters will appoint a commission even farther removed from being accountable to the voters.

    2) Republicans are nearly 50% of the voter registration but will have only 33% of the representation.

    3) Independents who are 18% of the voter registration but will have 33% of the representation.

    4) Independents may not register Republican but they by and large support Republican candidates (probably because they consider themselves more libertarian than conservative). How does one insure that this brand of independent is fairly represented in the 33% of Independents on the commission and doesn’t consist of the minuscule percentage which by and large support Democrat candidates? You can’t.

    5) Why fix what is not broken? Look at the last map drafted by the Legislature. It was clearly drawn with the principal priority of linking districts by county boundaries where people who have voted for their county commissioner can support that person who is running for the legislature and local interests are likely to be united. It was in full conformance with federal voting rights law and to large degree the federal allowance for standard deviations was significantly less than allowed.

    This is nothing but an effort by a party who can’t achieve election percentages in virtually any legislative district equal to its voter registration in that district which speaks to a deeper fundamental problem than where lines are drawn.

    I’m all for a stronger two-party system in SD. But “trick plays” like initiated measures and drawing lines instead of doing basic “blocking and tackling” like strategic candidate recruitment and organization isn’t going to make them more viable.

    1. the obvious democrat strategy emerging for the next election is this:

      1. hide that you are a democrat in every election you possibly can

      2. get as much over-representation on every appointed board you can

      3. get as many people loaded on direct or second-hand marijuana smoke as you can

  5. Like MC, I’m not completely opposed to the idea, but this proposal has at least two serious flaws:

    1. The prohibition on a commissioner holding a political party office in the past or in the future is likely an unconstitutional infringement on the First Amendment right to freedom of association. I don’t think the government can condition your eligibility for service in a government post on refraining from activities in a voluntary association prior to or after service in the post. Plus, if a commission member’s term ended and then he or she was immediately elected as a state party chair, would the State sue the party to enforce compliance with the three-year rule?

    2. The process for picking the commissioners is ambiguous and badly worded. The State Board of Elections will first accept applications. Then the next sentence restricts the “pool of candidates” to thirty people, but doesn’t specify how the “pool of candidates” is created or who creates it. Does the BOE select the pool, or is it just the first ten applicants from each of the three categories? Assuming it is the former, why even create this pool since the next step is for the BOE to select nine people to be on the commission? Heck, the proposal doesn’t even say that the nine commissioners must be from the pool or have made an application. Can anyone explain the point of the pool?

  6. Enquirer,

    And don’t mention this one: we won’t recruit or run candidates for office. We are going govern through initiatives.

    I can’t believe I am saying this but I predict Dem representation in Legislature will actually drop after 2016 election and they already caucus in a phone booth.

  7. I forgot to mention the odds are over 50% they will run nobody for US Senate or US Congress.

  8. Troy I agree it is just getting worse for that party with a number of desperation moves geared for the short-term at the expense of long term growth partly driven by some extremists that further drive away more common sense and reasonable long term members of the party.

    What happens to those common sense and reasonable former long term members of the party? They join the vastly majority party in the state so they feel at least some empowerment, become an independent, exit from any type of political involvement and just focus on their own lives in what they can control or leave the state.

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