The Pierre Capital Journal has a story on redistricting today where they’ve reached out to the two political parties on redistricting, and ask what their goals are for the redistricting process:
South Dakota Democratic Party Executive Director Berk Ehrmantraut told the Capital Journal that minority representation, particularly among Native Americans, is the party’s biggest point of concern.
“I think Democrats are open to working with Republicans on the Blackbird map where we can,” Ehrmantraut said. “…We’ve seen significant issues with Census undercount in places like District 26 and District 27. I think there’s room for the Legislature to accommodate for that and provide some additional flexibility on the 5 percent up, 5 percent down rule. We know that representing minority voices is also an important consideration for drawing these maps.”
State Democrats want the legislature to deviate from the 5% deviance guidelines they’ve set to benefit minorities. And the State GOP?
In a statement to the Capital Journal, South Dakota Republican Party Chair Dan Lederman noted that his party itself is “not a participant in the process, nor are we being consulted, as it should be.”
“Like any other state resident, we’re encouraging our legislators to come together to draw district lines that provide fair and equitable representation in a process that’s transparent for all South Dakotans,” Lederman said. “As both the House and the Senate have been travelling around the state and gaining local input as they work out their respective plans, it’s a testament to the fact that redistricting as currently provided for in the State Constitution is a system that works just fine as is, and the state does not need special interest groups monkeying around with the redistricting system, creating star-chambers who are responsible to none.”
And the SDGOP notes “we’re not a participant in the process” and are not supposed to be, legislators are supposed to follow the constitution!
Interesting though, that the blackbird map is the one that both parties are focusing on, which might be the biggest clue to the direction that redistricting is going.