State Watch

Wisconsin governor rolls out proposal for redistricting committee

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Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) rolled out a proposal Wednesday that would create a nonpartisan committee of residents to redraw the Badger State’s electoral map.

In his State of the State address, Evers introduced the People’s Maps Commission, which would be composed of Wisconsin residents and be tasked with crafting a state electoral map plan to be presented to legislators.

“Our nonpartisan redistricting commission will consist of the people of our state—not elected officials, not lobbyists, not high-paid consultants. The People’s Maps Commission will visit every congressional district, hear directly from folks across our state, and draw fair, impartial maps for the Legislature to take up next year,” Evers said.

“I believe, and Wisconsinites do, too, that people should get to choose their elected officials, not the other way around. So, when the People’s Maps are presented to the Legislature next year, I hope they will receive unanimous, bipartisan support.” 

Wisconsin is just one of several states in the midst of a fierce redistricting fight as Democrats and Republicans argue over the fairness of existing drawings of congressional districts.

Wisconsin appears headed for an impasse over redistricting next year with the Republican-controlled state Legislature opposed to Evers’s redistricting efforts, although they lack a large enough majority to override a potential veto of a plan of their own.

The Legislature, which is in charge of redistricting, does not have to take into account the maps created by the commission.

“He can form whatever kind of fake, phony, partisan process he wants to create, but I have no doubt in the end we will do it the way we have always have, which is to follow the constitution,” Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos told The Associated Press of Evers’s proposal. 

However, the introduction of Evers’s commission was hailed by redistricting advocates. 

“I am proud to stand with @GovEvers tonight as he calls for non-partisan redistricting in Wisconsin. In 2011 Republicans drew some of the worst gerrymanders in the country. It’s time to change that and make things fair. It’s time to give power back to the people-where it belongs,” said former Attorney General Eric Holder, who has dedicated himself to redistricting efforts since his time helming the Justice Department.

State legislatures across the country are gearing up for fiery redistricting battles after this year’s census, which will enumerate how many congressional districts each state gets.

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