MADISON – State Representative Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) joined an overwhelmingly bipartisan majority of colleagues today in rejecting the sham maps put forth by Governor Evers and his commission. As proposed by Evers, the maps would have reduced the number of majority-minority districts and disenfranchised thousands of minority voters – a clear violation of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
“Republicans and Democrats don’t seem to agree on much these days,” said Rep. Steineke. “However, the maps proposed by Governor Evers and his partisan People’s Maps Commission were so broken that 77 members – a bipartisan supermajority of legislators – came together today and handedly rejected them.”
Earlier this year, Governor Evers moved to insert the executive branch into a process clearly delegated to the state Legislature by the Wisconsin Constitution. The People’s Maps Commission was comprised of Evers’ own supporters who were tasked with drafting “fair” maps. The commission broke several laws during their deliberations, including violating open meetings requirements, considering only partisan competiveness over other long-standing redistricting principles, and diluting minority votes.
In contrast, the state Legislature moved to make this the most open and transparent incarnation in history. They invited the public to submit their own maps and passed a resolution to guide their map making. The final maps submitted by the Legislature preserved minority districts and had less population deviation, municipal splits, and incumbent pairings than their Governor-drawn counterparts. The Legislature-drawn maps were eventually approved by both chambers and are now on their way to Governor Evers’ desk for final approval.
“The Legislature followed legal precedent and produced fair, constitutional maps,” Rep. Steineke concluded. “Governor Evers should seriously reconsider his veto threat and sign these maps.”