March 22, 2017
On March 21, the Lincoln County Board, based in Merrill, Wis., voted by 18-4 in favor of a resolution demanding the nonpartisan drawing of fair legislative maps.
The resolution notes that “a panel of federal district court judges has ruled that the redistricting that was done in Wisconsin in 2011 was unconstitutional.” And it states: “Redistricting to achieve partisan gains is improper, whether it is done by Republicans or Democrats.”
The resolution goes on to say that “the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors insists upon the creation of a nonpartisan procedure for the preparation of legislative and Congressional redistricting plans.”
And it spells out some criteria for doing this, saying that the process “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 the U.S. Constitution.”
“I was very pleased” with the outcome, says Hans Breitenmoser, one of the Lincoln County Board members who took the lead on the resolution. “Now we want board members in other counties to pass similar resolutions to make it more difficult for our legislators to say this isn’t an important issue and people don’t care about it.”