More maps offered for S.D. legislative districts

Capitol News Bureau

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Two more proposals for South Dakota’s 35 legislative districts, one map for Rapid City and one for Sioux Falls, emerged Monday at a meeting of the House and Senate redistricting committees.

The Rapid City proposal, called Mockingbird, came from Representative Tina Mulally. She said it would create two single-member House sub-districts in District 34, with one of them representing what’s commonly called the North Rapid neighborhood.

“North Rapid is primarily a Native American community,” Mulally said.

That would give South Dakota three districts with split House sub-districts specifically intended to better represent Native Americans in the Legislature. The two current splits are in districts 26 and 28. Each district elects one member to the Senate and two members to the House of Representatives.

Four voting precincts would be split under the Mockingbird proposal, according to Mulally. She hadn’t shown it yet to Pennington County Auditor Cindy Mohler.

John Claussen said he submitted a map proposing eight legislative districts for the city of Sioux Falls, with two having one rural precinct apiece. The Sioux Falls resident has appeared at every meeting of the redistricting panels. “We need to respect all these communities of interest in Sioux Falls,” Claussen said.

Senator Jim Bolin asked Claussen for a district by district list of the voting precincts in each. “I will do that for you,” Claussen replied. Noting that the other proposals so far offered six and seven districts for Sioux Falls, Claussen added, “I just think you have to have eight to truly represent the city of Sioux Falls.”

The committees did a statewide tour last week to get public comments on four previously proposed maps. They can be found under the ‘Documents’ tabs at the Senate and House websites:

Blackbird, from Senator Casey Crabtree.

Falcon, from Bolin.

Eagle, from Senator Troy Heinert.

Grouse, from Representative Drew Dennert.

Those maps and any updates will be posted on the Legislature’s central redistricting site. Links also will be posted on the website.

The Legislature begins a special session on redistricting November 8 that could run over to November 9. The boundaries they draw will be used for the next decade of legislative elections, starting with the 2022 contests.

Representative Mike Derby asked whether the committees would meet again after their next scheduled joint meeting, currently set for 10 a.m. CT October 25 at the Capitol. Senator Mary Duvall, chair of the Senate committee, said she didn’t know. “It depends how successful the 25th is,” she said.

Legislative Research Council attorney Matt Frame said all maps must be submitted no later than November 1. Derby asked whether a vote needs to be taken by the committees. Frame said that’s up to the committees to decide.

“Sounds like a fun time coming up,” Duvall said.

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