Redistricting And Gerrymandering Subject Of Eight Educational Gatherings In SD

Oct 26, 2018

Caitlin Collier, president of SD League of Women Voters
Credit Victoria Wicks

The South Dakota League of Women Voters has led an eight-city tour during the month of October. Its purpose is to educate citizens about voter districts and how they are created. Rapid City was the last stop Thursday night.

Other presentations were held at Spearfish, Pierre, Aberdeen, Brookings, Yankton, Vermillion, and Sioux Falls.

State League president Caitlin Collier says the groups in each town have been diverse. She says Aberdeen's stop drew a very large crowd that included local politicians such as county commissioners and current and hopeful state legislators.

In Brookings, she says, about 80 percent of the crowd were SDSU students.

"There were certain people there who were--particularly existing legislators--who were there as apologists for the current system of redistricting," Collier said. "Didn't see anything that was a problem. But as far as just the general citizenry who showed up, most of them knew something but not everything about redistricting and were very interested in hearing about alternatives."

Collier says attitudes varied from place to place, with some people thinking the current system of redistricting is good as it is now, and others wanting change.

The tour was supported by a grant from the National League of Women Voters for education on redistricting and gerrymandering.