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October 22, 2020

10/16/2020 9:49:00 AM
Non-Partisan voting districts

Dear Editor:
There are many reasons to vote "YES" on November 3rd on the non-partisan Referendum about legislative and congressional districts. This referendum asks if Wisconsin should use a non-partisan procedure for developing districts that are balanced regarding political party preferences ("Fair Maps"). I'd like to highlight one important financial reason to end unbalanced voting district creation [gerrymandering] which has led to representatives choosing their voters rather than voters choosing their representatives,
In 2011, when Wisconsin drew maps, it cost you, the taxpayer over 3 million dollars* in consulting and legal fees to create one of the most gerrymandered maps in the nation. That compares to the State of Iowa paying $180,000** to complete the process of district designation by using a non-partisan group to do it. . In addition, the State of Iowa Model has not been litigated for 35years so has no ongoing legal fees. Therefore, there is a
non-partisan more financially sound way to proceed with districting.
The Referendum which Iowa County Voters will find at the end of their ballot on Nov 3rd, asks if you advise the State Legislature to adopt a Fair Maps redistricting process. It makes financial and common sense to adopt the Iowa model. 53 of 72 Wisconsin counties have already endorsed Fair Maps.
In April 2019,  the Iowa County Board overwhelmingly supported a Resolution. Now, by having a Referendum, the residents of Iowa County also get to vote. We are not alone, there are 11 more counties voting on support of Fair Maps on Nov 3rd. At present, 75% of all Wisconsinites are in favor of a NON-PARTISAN, independent system of redistricting. 
So, VOTE "YES" on the non-partisan Referendum on Nov 3 to make it clear that
Iowa County Voters want to end unfair gerrymandering and to choose their Representatives, not the other way around.
Thank you,
Dr Cathryn Kaiser
Mineral Point
*per https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/2019/01/22/wisconsin-gerrymandering-legal-fight-track-cost-3-5-million/2645940002/
** League of Women Voters brochure--https://drive.google.com/file/d/1otijDKNyoqK0y4cUh7OBDLVqGtuL9Jn_/view 
"Gerrymandering is expensive. Millions of tax dollars are spent to hire lawyers to draw the maps and to defend them in court battles. Since the 1980's, Iowa has utilized nonpartisan staff to draw undisputed maps at negligible cost".
** https://www.thegazette.com/2011/04/19/iowa-redistricting-chief-says-completing-process-a-good-feeling





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