Mark your calendars and break out your maps (or at least, prepare to open a new google maps tab in your internet browser).
On Monday, October 24th, the South Dakota state legislature will decide in which legislative district you get to vote. This is a process that happens every ten years after the US Census so that your district reflects population changes and community interests.
This process is called redistricting, and it can determine whether your vote generates fair, balanced legislative districts with competitive races or reinforces unbalanced, partisan representation splitting communities of interest.
What’s that mean for you? If you live in one area of the state, the problems your community faces might look a lot different than the problems another area might face. Splitting your community means your interests get diluted in the state legislature, and your needs go unmet.
Republicans have already pushed through one proposed map on party lines, and their proposal endangers fair representation for many communities across South Dakota. Whether your county is being spliced and diced like Lincoln, Bon Homme, or Brown Counties, your district is being stretched into areas far different from your community to force primary elections like District 1, or your community is being split to negate your power like north Rapid City, partisan redistricting hurts South Dakotans first and foremost.
Over the next five days, we’ll be taking a deeper look at some of these communities and ask you to stand up for them – especially if you live in one of these neighborhoods.
In the mean time, Rapid City Journal reporter David Montgomery has created a map in which you can see the proposed legislative districts, find out where your voting district will be, and see where current legislators live. Be knowledgable, stay informed, and check it out!