|2/15/2021 1:04:00 PM|
Your Vote Will Be Counted, But Will It Count?
Over the past few years, 55 counties throughout the state, representing over 80% of the people of Wisconsin, have overwhelmingly passed resolutions or referenda supporting nonpartisan redistricting. In the face of strong public support to end gerrymandering, Governor Evers created the People's Map Commission to draw new district maps, free of political considerations, maps that accurately and fairly represent our state. The members of the Commission, appointed by a panel of three retired judges, represent all areas of the state and reflect the diversity of Wisconsin's population. Political party officials, elected representatives and lobbyists were deliberately excluded from serving on the Commission. In addition, the Commission was instructed to be transparent in its operation and to solicit input from citizens throughout the state as well as from nonpartisan experts in the technical aspects of map making. The Commission's map will be submitted to the Legislature for approval.
So far, so good. But the leadership of the legislative majority will be presenting a very different map for legislative approval. Since it worked for them before, they are likely to follow the same process they employed for the last redistricting in 2011 - a redistricting map drafted in secret, with almost no public input, by private attorneys using past election results to create gerrymandered maps that give advantage to Republican legislative candidates.
What is the probable fate of the two opposing maps? The Governor will submit the People's Map Commission's map to the Legislature where it will be turned down. The legislative majority will in turn pass their own map, only to have it vetoed by the governor. However, the veto will stand because they do not have a veto-proof majority. It will then be up to the courts to decide which map becomes law.
What can you do about this situation? The People's Map Commission will be here in the 2nd Congressional District on March 11 to hold a virtual public hearing. You can participate in the virtual hearing or submit written comments by going to their website govstatus.egov.com/peoplesmaps. The more input they get from the public the stronger their case in court. If you want your vote to count, you need to get involved now.
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