Prof. Justin Levitt's Guide to Drawing the Electoral Lines

South Dakota

State Summary

South Dakota has only one congressional district.

South Dakota state legislative lines are drawn by the state legislature, as a regular statute, subject to gubernatorial veto.

In the 2010 cycle, South Dakota’s legislature passed state legislative lines (HB 1001) on Oct. 24, 2011, which were signed by the Governor on Oct. 25, 2011, and precleared on Jan. 19, 2012.

,

Seats:

Institution:

Drawn by:

Plan Status:

Party Control:
  Upper House:
  Lower House:
  Governor:

Download Data for ,

Shapefile GeoJSON PDF

Shapefile source:

Institution

South Dakota has only one congressional district.

South Dakota state legislative lines are drawn by the state legislature, as a regular statute, subject to gubernatorial veto.

Timing

The legislature’s deadline for producing plans is Dec. 1, 2021; the regular legislative session is currently scheduled to begin on Jan. 12, 2021, and end on Mar. 29, 2021. [S.D. Const. art. III, § 5]  Candidates must file for state legislative primary elections by Mar. 29, 2022. [S.D. Codified Laws § 12-6-4]

South Dakota prohibits redrawing state legislative lines at any point mid-decade, before the next Census. [S.D. Const. art. III, § 5In re Certification of a Question of Law, 615 N.W.2d 590 (S.D. 2000)]

Public input

The legislature has not announced any specific plans for public input this cycle just yet.

Criteria

Like all states, South Dakota must comply with constitutional equal population requirements; the state constitution further requires that state legislative districts be populated as nearly equally “as is practicable.” [S.D. Const. art. III, § 5]

South Dakota must also, like all states, abide by the Voting Rights Act and constitutional rules on race.

The South Dakota constitution further requires that state legislative districts be contiguous and compact.  The state legislature has, in the past, issued policy statements with each redistricting, which have included criteria like protecting communities of interest and respecting geographical and political boundaries; these statutes are expressly tied to each redistricting plan, and will be altered by the legislature in future redistricting. [S.D. Const. art. III, § 5S.D. Codified Laws § 2-2-32]

State legislative districts are nested, such that one state Senator and two state Representatives are elected from each district, except for one Senate district divided into two state House districts. [S.D. Const. art. III, § 5]

2010 cycle

In the 2010 cycle, Shannon County and Todd County were subject to preclearance under the federal Voting Rights Act.

South Dakota’s legislature passed state legislative lines (HB 1001) on Oct. 24, 2011, which were signed by the Governor on Oct. 25, 2011, and precleared on Jan. 19, 2012.

It does not appear that the plan was challenged in court.

Materials are available here.

2000 cycle

In the 2000 cycle, Shannon County and Todd County were subject to preclearance under the federal Voting Rights Act.

South Dakota’s legislature passed state legislative lines (SB 1) that were signed on Nov. 1, 2001. The plan was precleared no later than the expiration of the 60-day period for objection, which was no later than July 30, 2002.

The plan was challenged in federal court, and struck down on grounds that it did not comply with the Voting Rights Act. When the legislature failed to draw remedial districts, the federal court did so, on Aug. 18, 2005.  [Bone Shirt v. Hazeltine, 461 F.3d 1011 (8th Cir. 2006)]

Materials and plans are available here.