Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers Monday signed an executive order creating a nonpartisan commission to help draw the state’s legislative maps next year. Wisconsin has one of the most gerrymandered state legislature maps in the country – an advantage that gave Republicans the majority of seats across the state despite losing the majority of votes.
Under the Wisconsin constitution, the Legislature holds the power to draw and vote on legislative maps. Evers’ executive order creates an independent commission tasked with traveling the state to gather input and draw a separate set of maps. The public can then compare the commission’s maps to those of the legislature to see whether or not they are being represented fairly.
The new process will be much more transparent than that of the Republicans’ in 2011 who pushed through a set of maps with little time for public review. The maps were later challenged in court.
Evers’ proposal is an extremely popular one – over 70 percent of Wisconsinites support having an independent committee draw legislative maps.