Door County voters have the opportunity to weigh in on the side of good government on Nov. 3 when they vote for the advisory referendum: “Should the Wisconsin Legislature create a nonpartisan procedure for the preparation of legislative and congressional district plans and maps?”
Recently the Fair Maps Task Force, the League of Women Voters and the Sturgeon Bay Library cosponsored a virtual, informational presentation about the referendum. (Access it at doorcountylibrary.org/fair-maps.) The presentation explains how in Wisconsin and some other states, our democratic election process has been hijacked by gerrymandering, and how the referendum vote on Nov. 3 is a step in the right direction to fix it.
The Fair Maps movement was born of citizens from both parties who saw that the gerrymander process used by the legislature for redrawing state and congressional district lines after the census was not only undemocratic, but it was an abuse of power. Since 2011, people from both major parties have worked to change the redistricting process to one that is fair and transparent.
Article IV of the Wisconsin Constitution assigns the responsibility for creating districts to the legislature, but it does not give specific direction for how to actually draw the lines. The legislature’s responsibility is to vote to approve the final maps.
The current legislative leadership has been circulating the idea that changing the process for redistricting is somehow “unconstitutional.” This is simply wrong, and they know it. The fair-maps process does not use partisan voter data at all; it keeps communities together; and it divides up the districts with advantage to neither political party. It is constitutional, and it’s a desperately needed first step to get back to Wisconsin’s once-admired legacy of clean, fair and transparent government.
Please vote “yes” Nov. 3 for the advisory referendum supporting a new, fair process.
Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
Chair, League of Women Voters of Door County