County Supports End to Gerrymandering

The Door County Board of Supervisors is now on record in support of a nonpartisan redistricting system for Wisconsin.

It was the second time the issue had come up, but at the January meeting, several board members said they did not have enough information on the subject, and one felt it was a purely partisan move.

At its monthly meeting on March 25, the board voted unanimously to support the resolution that came from the board’s Legislative Committee, but not before Supervisor Ken Fisher again voiced his opinion that the redistricting effort is partisan, saying it is a political ploy of disgruntled minority Democrats.

“They’re grasping at straws. Whether you see it or not, that is the case,” said Fisher, who represents four Sturgeon Bay wards.

Despite his reservations, Fisher added, “As much as I see this as a political ploy by the Democrats, I am in support of this because something needs to be done. These people in the state need to get shook up.”

Supervisor Susan Kohout, chair of the Legislative Committee, said the last redistricting after the 2010 census cost the taxpayers $2.1 million in court costs. The previous redistricting after the 2000 census came with a $1.3 million price tag.

Instead of the party in power cherry-picking districts, Kohout said Wisconsin should follow the Iowa model, which was adopted in 1980 and gave the redistricting job to a nonpartisan state agency. In Wisconsin that job would go to the Legislative Reference Bureau. Since the Gerrymander-free redistricting was adopted in Iowa, taxpayers have not been burdened by a single fee regarding redistricting.

“Their largest costs were driving the maps and materials to meetings, the cost of gasoline,” she told the board.