Support nonpartisan redistricting
During this legislative session there only are two pieces of must-pass legislation. The biennial state budget bill and legislative redistricting. Ideally the state Legislature should be bi-partisan, meaning some years the Republicans have the majority; other years, the Democrats.
In 2011 the Republican-led legislature drafted maps in secret, hiring a private law firm charging taxpayers $1.4 million to do their jobs. Years of litigation followed, costing taxpayers millions in legal fees.
For too long the legislature has consolidated power to the extent that the minority party has little chance of gaining seats. Both Democrats and Republicans are guilty of gerrymandering. There must be a better way!
Some say there is no such thing as nonpartisan redistricting. Let’s try it! Wisconsin has nothing to lose and much to gain. Polling in 2020 suggests 70% of voters would prefer redistricting done by a nonpartisan commission. Fifty counties so far have passed resolutions and referendums supporting nonpartisan redistricting.
This year there is greater urgency for a nonpartisan commission to draw legislative maps. Last week it was reported that census data would not be available until Sept. 30. This gives the legislature little time to draw maps that by state law is due to the governor by Dec. 1. This could result in some very hastily drawn maps that only will benefit the party in power.
Governor Evers’ nonpartisan commission is a smaller group that could work more quickly than the legislature. By having non-politicians draw electoral maps, voters will be choosing their representatives instead of representatives choosing their voters.
Please contact your representatives in Madison to support nonpartisan redistricting.