April 3, 2019
by Matthew Rothschild, Executive Director
On April 2, three more communities demonstrated the overwhelming popularity of banning gerrymandering in Wisconsin.
Citizens of La Crosse County, Vernon County, and the Town of Newbold, near Rhinelander, voted on referendums as to whether there should be a nonpartisan procedure for drawing legislative and congressional district maps in Wisconsin.
The referendum in La Crosse County passed with 77 percent approval.
The referendum in Vernon County passed with 71 percent approval.
And the referendum in the Town of Newbold passed with 69 percent approval.
The move to ban gerrymandering in Wisconsin continues to gather momentum. Currently, 42 county boards have passed resolutions in favor of nonpartisan redistricting, and 8 counties have passed referendums, all by lopsided margins.
A recent Marquette Law School poll showed that 72 percent of Wisconsinites want to ban gerrymandering in Wisconsin.
And that includes 63 percent of Republicans, and 76 percent of Independents.
This is an issue that crosses party lines.
People are sick and tired of the political game being rigged.
And gerrymandering is one way that it’s rigged.
The citizens of Wisconsin are saying, loudly and clearly, that they want gerrymandering to end.
Gov. Evers has introduced a bill, as part of his budget, that would enact nonpartisan redistricting in Wisconsin, with the Legislative Reference Bureau drawing the maps, instead of whichever political party is in power after the Census is taken every 10 years.
Under the Evers proposal, the Legislative Reference Bureau would be drawing the maps, under the supervision of a bipartisan Redistricting Advisory Commission. The map drawers at the Legislative Reference Bureau would have to follow strict criteria, and they wouldn’t be allowed to use political demographic data to rig the maps one way or another.
The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign supports the Evers plan.