November 3, 2023 at 12:00 p.m.
Fair Maps are needed to truly represent the voters
Representative Tranel and Senator Marklein currently claim to support Fair Maps. However, despite their statements, neither of them ever pushed to advance such legislation before. It has languished in committees, including at least one on which Tranel serves, for almost 10 years. Furthermore, although the current proposal has some features in common with Iowa’s system, it still contains loopholes which would allow the Republican majority to thwart efforts to create maps which truly represent the voters of Wisconsin. Therefore, Gov. Evers is using the only tool at his disposal, the veto, to prevent this travesty.
Wisconsin is essentially a 50-50 state. Statewide elections are often decided by 1-2% of the votes, yet somehow Republicans maintain enormous majorities in both houses of the legislature. They have achieved this grip on power through what has been widely acknowledged as one of the most egregious examples of partisan gerrymandering in the US. They were aided in their quest to maintain power by both the US and the Wisconsin Supreme Courts.
Now that conservatives have lost their ability to control the State Supreme Court, they are suddenly trying to cover their intentions with seemingly reasonable legislation. Their statements about bipartisanship are disingenous. The details, especially the provisions allowing the legislature multiple votes (which could delay the new maps so long that they might never be implemented), reveal their true aim— to retain their undeserved majority.