Monday, October 24, 2016

Former U.S. Senator Larry Pressler (R-SD) Weighs In On Our Chance To End Gerrymandering In South Dakota. Big Fist Pump To You, Senator Pressler.

Vote YES on Amendment T to Thwart Party Bosses

By: Senator Larry Pressler

(Note from John:  Apologies for the formatting)

     I believe we are at a critical turning point in the history of South Dakota. TheThis year we have the opportunity to decide on ten ballot measures on election day. These measures will shape the
future of our state for generations to come. Recent nationwide news stories in the New York
Senator Pressler
Times and others discussing these ballot measure show that the entire nation is watching, once
again, what we do on election day in South Dakota.This November, I will be voting YES on Constitutional Amendment T. I have looked at it and it isthe most important vote you will cast on November 8th. Why is Amendment T so important? Every ten years, the South Dakota Legislature is
responsible for re-drawing voting maps in order to adjust for shifts in population. The goal of
the redistricting process is to ensure that the state is divided into relatively equal
competitiveness. Just how this is done and who is responsible for the process is left up to
members of the South Dakota legislative bosses. Constitutional Amendment T will change that
by putting redistricting in the hands of an impartial committee of registered voters. Presently,
we have a gerrymandered state legislature, and whoever’s party is in power adjusts the districts
to lock in complete control in the interest of the party, not necessarily of the people. These
party bosses carve the lines of the districts in order to keep their party in control. We must
reform that in order to shift the power out of the hands of incumbent politicians and into the
hands of the voters of South Dakota. Amendment T establishes several constitutional safeguards for voters. Amendment T bans theuse of political party identification and incumbency to manipulate voter maps. It requirescounties and neighborhoods be kept in the same district whenever possible. It requirescommittee members not hold public office three years before or after being selected to the
commission. And, Amendment T gives South Dakotans a 30-day public comment period to
express their comments and concerns on potential voter maps. Amendment T takes the power
out of the hands of “party bosses.” After the voting maps are drawn, they are in effect for ten years. By manipulating a line here or there, the outcome of multiple elections is affected. Party bosses with an interest in the outcome should not have that kind of power.  In order to curb corruption and hold politicians accountable, we need to pull back the curtain of secrecy on drawing the legislative maps in South Dakota. We need to create a fair and balanced process because voters should be choosing their politicians, not the other way around. Amendment T improves the way we draw voting maps in South Dakota. It puts voters like you back in charge of elections. Join me and thousands of Republicans, Independents, and Democrats in South Dakota and Vote YES on Amendment T this fall.

     Thank you for allowing me to serve and to represent you in the United States Senate for 18
years. Together we were able to accomplish so many important things for South Dakota and I am proud of our record.

Senator Larry Pressler (R-SD) served in the US Senate for 18 years (3 terms). Prior to his election to
the US Senate, Pressler, also a Rhodes Scholar, served two terms in the US House of
Representatives. He was the first Vietnam veteran elected to the US Senate. While in the US
Senate, he served as Chairman of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committees. He
was also an active member of the Foreign Relations Committee. He was the principle author of the
Telecommunications Act of 1996 and of the “Pressler Amendment,” which limited foreign countries from using the USA to develop nuclear weaponry.  Senator Pressler and his wife Harriet have one daughter and four grandchildren and reside in Gregory County, South Dakota.

1 comment:

  1. While i respect our former Senator I do not like any of these Const Amendments...R might be ok, but don't love it..

    I keep reading how T is so poorly worded some parts are unconstitutional and could exclude one party entirely from the process...much like V which I think is the craziest amendment ever...I am voting NO on S, T, U, V. Most of them overreached.