The battle for fair voting maps and for ending partisan gerrymandering received a big boost in Tuesday’s election. Voters in La Crosse and Vernon counties showed their support for non-partisan drawing of legislative boundaries in the state based on Iowa’s non-partisan redistricting process. Both counties had advisory referendum questions on the ballot Tuesday.
In both places, more than 70 percent of voters approved the question. The vote in La Crosse County was 16,637 to 4,858 while in Vernon County the totals were 4,245 to 1,741.
A Marquette Law School poll earlier this year showed that 72 percent of all Wisconsinites support non-partisan redistricting, including 62 percent of all state Republicans. They totally understand now that voters should be selecting their elected officials instead of politicians selecting their voters, as is the case now in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin citizens will have their first opportunity in more than a decade to testify in support of fair voting maps and against partisan gerrymandering of state legislative and congressional districts at “sanctioned” state legislative public hearings scheduled by the Joint Finance Committee during the month of April around Wisconsin.
Gov. Tony Evers included non-partisan redistricting reform in his state budget at the urging of CC/WI and other reformers. Your voice is needed to ensure that it is not pulled out of the budget by guardians of the corrupt status quo – of which there are many in the Wisconsin Legislature, but not in the public at large.
Try to get to one of these public hearings and make your voices heard! The 16 legislators comprising the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee are supposed to be in attendance at these public hearings, and the media will cover them as well. So this is the best opportunity yet to bring wider public attention and support to ending one of the most partisan gerrymandering of legislative and congressional districts of any state in the nation.
Joint Finance Committee Public Hearings on the Budget
Friday, April 5 (10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
Pontiac Convention Center
2809 North Pontiac Drive
Janesville, WI 53545
Wednesday, April 10 (10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
Oak Creek Community Center
8580 South Howell Avenue
Oak Creek, WI 53154
Monday, April 15 (10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
University of Wisconsin-River Falls
Riverview Ballroom #260
500 Wild Rose Avenue
River Falls, WI 54022
Wednesday, April 24 (10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
University Union – Phoenix Room
2430 Campus Court
Green Bay, WI 54311
The Co-Chairs of the Joint Finance Committee may decide to limit testimony to two or three minutes. They haven’t announced that yet. Written comments can be emailed to the Committee at BudgetComments@legis.wisconsin.gov
For more background information from CC/WI about this issue to educate you and to help you prepare your comments to the Joint Finance Committee, see this January communication and press release.
Also, this recent guest editorial on fair maps, partisan gerrymandering and the U.S. Supreme Court in the Wisconsin State Journal written by CC/WI Director Jay Heck and CC/WI State Governing Board Chair and former Wisconsin State Senator Tim Cullen.
For much more information about this issue, please browse our website.
Finally, if you have not already done so, please sign our petition to the Wisconsin Legislature in support of the Iowa model redistricting reform legislation that is now in the state budget. We are 85 percent of the way toward our goal of 5,000 signatures so please help us get to the finish line!
And, as always, be sure to email or call Jay Heck if you have any questions or require further information.