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Voters to Advise on Fair Maps Referendum in November

What’s referred to as the Fair Maps referendum passed Tuesday morning during the Door County Board of Supervisors meeting, paving the way for an advisory referendum on the November ballot.

The advisory referendum question that voters will see will ask, “Should the Wisconsin legislature create a nonpartisan procedure for the preparation of legislative and congressional district plans and maps?”

The current procedure allows the legislature of the majority party to prepare congressional redistricting plans and maps. This practice of redistricting by the majority party can result in the legislature choosing its voters rather than voters choosing their representatives – a process commonly called gerrymandering.

The agenda item drew public support during the Tuesday board meeting from the Door County Fair Maps Task Force and the Door County League of Women Voters. 

“Gerrymandering is poisoning our democracy, depressing voter interest and turnout, and entrenching politicians currently in power,” said Mike Brodd, spokesperson for the Fair Maps Task Force, which has been working on the issue for about a year. “Our county board did the right thing.”

Pat Scienszinski with the Door County League of Women Voters said the organization has fought for many years to end gerrymandering and to support a nonpartisan procedure for redistricting.

“In Wisconsin, the hope is that by passing referendums supporting Fair Maps in county after county, pressure will build to force the legislature to finally act,” Scienszinski said. 

Seventeen Wisconsin counties have previously held and passed such referenda, Brodd said. Brown County will also hold a similar referendum in November.

No one spoke in opposition to the referendum Tuesday, and only District 10 Supervisor Ken Fisher voted against it.