MADISON, WI – In a historic win for election fairness, a Federal Appeals Court has determined that Republican politicians in Wisconsin broke the law by drawing heavily skewed partisan district maps in 2011. The three-judge panel, consisting of two Republican and one Democratic appointed judges, declared the Republican maps unconstitutional and sided with voter rights advocates in striking down the rigged district lines. The court has ordered new lines to be redrawn by November 1, 2017 in time for the 2018 fall elections.
“The court found Republicans went out of their way to draw a blatantly partisan map in secret in order to undermine the rights of Wisconsin citizens,” said Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha). “What we cannot and will not tolerate is another map drawn behind closed doors. A new map should be subject to public hearings in different parts of the state to ensure that voters are choosing their representatives, not the other way around.”
“Rather than trying to justify their unconstitutional election rigging efforts, Republicans should work with Democrats to protect voters and restore election fairness,” added Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “Democrats believe every voter deserves to have their voice heard. While this ruling is another step forward, it’s just the beginning of a serious conversation legislative leaders should have regarding our redistricting process. As a co-author of redistricting reform legislation with Sen. Dave Hansen and other Democratic leaders, I believe we must act to empower citizens and restore fairness to our election process.”