Gov. Tony Evers has sent the state Supreme Court a proposed legislative map his office says makes fewer changes to current lines than the GOP lawmakers’ version while adding one more majority Black Assembly seat.

The guv’s office also said his proposed maps for the Legislature and Congress would have more partisan balance than the ones Republicans drew. He vetoed the GOP maps last month.

Republicans slammed Evers for submitting a map that was drawn in private after he publicly committed to a public process through the People’s Maps Commission. In a joint statement, Senate Majority Leader Devin Lemahieu, R-Oostburg, and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, noted bipartisan supermajorities in both houses voted against the People’s Maps Commission proposals when they were on the floor last month.

“Now Governor Evers has abandoned his campaign rhetoric promising for independently-drawn maps to rapidly and secretly draw his own rigged maps without public input,” they said. “The hypocrisy of the governor is impossible to ignore.”

The state Supreme Court last month directed parties in the redistricting case to take a least-change approach to the proposals submitted to the justices by yesterday’s deadline. The final version of the map Evers’ commission drew proposed significant changes to current lines, and Evers noted the court would only consider proposals “that make minimal changes from the gerrymandered maps that we have now.” He called the maps he submitted yesterday an improvement from the ones he vetoed.

“But I want to be clear — the people of Wisconsin overwhelmingly support nonpartisan redistricting in this state, and I will continue to fight for a nonpartisan redistricting process as long as I’m governor,” Evers said.

Meanwhile, Republicans submitted to the court the maps that were passed by the state Legislature last month without any changes.

A review of those maps showed Joe Biden would’ve won more votes than Donald Trump in 35 Assembly seats that Republicans proposed and 11 Senate districts. Under the current lines, Biden won 37 and 11 as he took the statewide contest by more than 20,000 votes.

The GOP maps also included six majority Black Assembly districts and two Hispanic seats in that chamber. They also included two majority Black Senate districts.

Evers’ office said his map would have 55 GOP Assembly districts and 44 Dem seats with a 20-13 split in Republicans’ favor in the Senate. That calculation used the average of six statewide elections since 2016.

Using that same calculation, the congressional map would have a 5-3 split in the GOP’s favor, compared to the 6-2 advantage under the Republican proposal.

While Evers’ office said his maps would have more majority Black districts than the Assembly plans, his analysis of the proposal also uses a different definition for minority districts.

Along with submitting the map, Evers included an analysis by University of Colorado math Prof. Jeanne Clelland.

It includes breakdowns of the districts by Black voting age population using two definitions.

One is similar to what Republicans used in evaluating their maps after drawing them. It includes only those who identified as Black or Black and white on their Census forms.

The second calculation is more expansive and includes anyone who claimed Black heritage. For example, that would also include those who are Black and Hispanic or Black and Asian.

The seven majority Black districts Evers touted in his announcement are based on the more expansive definition. The seven range from 50.1 percent Black to 51.4 percent.

Using the less expansive definition, those districts range from 48.5 percent Black by voting age population to just under 50 percent.

The non-white voting age population in those districts ranges from 58.8 percent to 65.2 percent.

Clelland’s analysis lists only five majority Black Assembly districts by voting age population under the proposal Republicans approved last month. Those districts range from 50.8 percent to 71.5 percent using the less expansive definition of Black.

Several Black lawmakers criticized the People’s Maps Commission proposals, arguing the proposed districts didn’t have large enough margins of Black voters to ensure they had the opportunity to select the candidate of their choice. That is a requirement under the Voting Rights Act.

Evers’ office said it believes the proposal is fully compliant with the Voting Rights Act.

See the release:

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