LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Give Nonpartisan Redistricting a Chance

The possibility for fair maps in Wisconsin has taken some body blows recently.

First, the Republican-dominated Legislature rammed through new maps for electoral districts and based those new maps on the grotesquely gerrymandered districts they drew back in 2011.

Gov. Tony Evers fortunately vetoed the new maps, but then the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s conservative majority stepped in and took over the process, bypassing the lower courts. Although it didn’t adopt the new Republican maps, it did rule that its approach was going to be essentially the same: making the “least change” possible on the 2011 maps to account only for shifts in population.

This is a questionable standard, not based in the state constitution or in the statutes or in traditional redistricting approaches. And it means, of course, that we will continue to have gerrymandered maps, which are helping to destroy true democracy in Wisconsin.

The people of Wisconsin demonstrably want fair maps. In 56 of our 72 counties, the people have voted by overwhelming margins in county board resolutions or countywide in favor of nonpartisan redistricting. The Republicans say that their majority isn’t a product of gerrymandering. I say, then you have nothing to fear, so give nonpartisan redistricting a chance.

Democracy dies a slow, but inevitable death when partisans manipulate the rules to keep themselves in power. That is what is happening here. Citizens, be aware of what is going on. 

Karen Wilson

Fish Creek, Wisconsin