County says no to gerrymandering
Resolution on nonpartisan redistricting
By Robert Cloud
The Waupaca County Board passed a resolution at its April 16 meeting in support of a nonpartisan procedure for state legislative and congressional redistricting plans.
Currently, under the state constitution, the legislature is responsible for redistricting every 10 years following the U.S. census.
The majority party at the time controls the state’s redistricting.
Critics note the current district maps resulted in partisan gerrymandering, which they say violates the principle of “one person, one vote.”
While Democrats won 53 percent of all the Assembly votes cast statewide in 2018, Republicans won 63 of the 99 seats.
“The 2011 process to draw the maps and fight litigation contesting those maps cost taxpayers nearly $1.9 million,” according to the county board’s resolution. “A panel of federal district court judges has ruled that the redistricting that was done in Wisconsin in 2011 was unconstitutional.”
The case was appealed and Wisconsin’s 2011 redistricting map, drawn up by Gov. Scott Walker and the GOP-controlled state legislature, is now scheduled to go before a federal court in July.
Gov. Tony Evers’ budget includes a nonpartisan agency that would redraw the map.
The revised maps would be submitted to the legislature for approval or disapproval with no amendments.
The county resolution asked the state legislature “to pass legislation that creates a fair, nonpartisan procedure for the preparation of state legislative and congressional redistricting plans, that promotes more accountability and transparency, and that prohibits the consideration of voting patterns, party information and incumbents’ residence information or demographic information in drawing the maps, except as necessary to ensure minority participation as required by law.”
County Supervisor Pat Craig, of Royalton, cast the sole vote against the resolution.
“I didn’t feel it would make an impact on the legislature’s decision one way or another if we voted for it,” Craig told the Waupaca County Post.
She pointed to the lack of impact of prior county board resolutions regarding state funding for county highways and town roads.
“Since the state became a state, it has always been whichever party is in power gets to make the districts,” Craig said. “I don’t see a need to change that.”