Letter to the Editor: Support for Nonpartisan Redistricting Reform

The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin heartily supports recently announced Assembly legislation that would reform the way voting maps are drawn in our state legislature. The proposal would adopt a plan similar to that in Iowa, where a nonpartisan agency has drafted district maps for approval by the legislature every decade since 1981. Iowa has compact districts and many more competitive races than we do, and there has been no litigation. The state has saved millions of dollars in lawyer fees that could be put to work for the people.

Since the 1970s the League has held that an independent commission or agency should draw voting maps, rather than having elected officials draw their own districts.

Voters should be able to elect a legislature that accurately reflects the will of the people. Unfortunately partisan gerrymandering has skewed the system in Wisconsin for decades. As a result many elected officials don’t have to listen to their constituents because they are in “safe districts” where they know they are unlikely to be defeated.

We need nonpartisan redistricting reform because legislators should not be able to choose their constituents by drawing their own voting districts. It is the voters who should be able to choose their representatives.

Andrea Kaminski, executive director of League of Women Voters of Wisconsin

Madison, Wis.

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