Summary: The Wisconsin Maps Assessment Project (WIMAP, pronounced “We-Map”) analyzed the Assembly map now proposed by the WI Legislature (SB621). It also analyzed (1) the current Assembly map, (2) current draft maps from the People’s Maps Commission (PMC), and (3) every map submitted online through either the PMC or the Legislature’s mapping portal.
Although the proposed Assembly map has excellent total deviation and above average minority opportunity and municipal splitting metrics, its county splitting scores are well below average. It was the worst in both partisan fairness and compactness.
WIMAP reviewed more than 30 Assembly maps. It encourages members of the public to contact their legislators and tell them to vote NO to SB621. It’s time for the Legislature to go back to the drawing board and do a better job.
Background: Don Leake (River Falls), Professor Emeritus of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and a member of Western Wisconsin for Nonpartisan Voting Districts (WWNVD) formed the “Wisconsin Maps Assessment Project” (WIMAP) during the summer of 2021. WIMAP took on the task of independently analyzing Wisconsin’s legislative maps. Other current WIMAP Members include David Fodroczi (Garfield), Jenelle Ludwig Krause (Baldwin), Cheryl Maranto (Glendale), Brad Schneider (Verona), Deborah Patel (River Hills), and Dan Russler (Helenville).
To analyze the maps, WIMAP used a free online software program called “Dave’s Redistricting,” (https://davesredistricting.
Today WIMAP published a video summarizing some of its findings regarding the proposed Assembly map and why having fair maps is so crucial for the people of WI. The video describes the process WIMAP used; presents two examples to illustrate failures made by the map makers; and states WIMAP’s conclusion that the maps should be rejected.
When looking at his community of River Falls, Dr. Leake said the Legislature’s proposed map “takes what was an exemplary compact district [under the existing map] and turns it into a tentacled blob I call Quadrapus.” Describing how the new map takes two competitive districts and makes them a safe haven for incumbents of different parties, Ms. Maranto said “whether a safe district is red or blue, it creates the same problem. It makes our representatives less accountable to us, shuts down compromise, and enhances the power of the party bosses. It’s why our communities so often don’t get what they need.”
WIMAP encourages the public to contact their legislators and tell them to vote NO to SB621. It’s time to go back to the drawing board and do a better job.
About the video project: The video was written and recorded in segments, with each participant “producing” his/her own film. The segments were then edited by Sophia Forliti, the Video and Graphic Creator at WWNVD. We release it today as proof not only that the proposed new maps should be rejected, but also to state clearly that:
People in Wisconsin are aware of the importance of redistricting and oppose partisan gerrymandering because they know that it robs our communities of the resources we need to survive and thrive; and
Thanks to technological advancements and easy access to free computer software, everyday citizens have the tools at hand to judge maps by themselves.
WWNVD and NSFM are nonpartisan citizen action teams dedicated to fair legislative maps. Both groups are powered by volunteers committed to a brighter future for our families, our communities and our state. NSFM’s leadership team lives in the north shore suburbs of the City of Milwaukee. WWNVD’s members come primarily from Pierce, St. Croix, Dunn, Pepin, Barron, Buffalo, and Polk Counties. WWNVD and NSFM and other like groups are helping Wisconsinites make their voices heard in the state legislature. You can read more about them at their websites: