Monday, October 4, 2021

People's Maps Commission Release Draft State Legislative and Congressional District Maps

Monday - October 4, 2021



A Vast Improvement Over 2011 G.O.P. Gerrymandered Maps
 
 
The People's Maps Commission (PMC) released their long-anticipated draft voting maps for state legislative and congressional districts last Thursday night in a virtual presentation and they put forward three map options for both the legislative and congressional maps. Their plan is to take public comment on the draft maps through Thursday of this week (10/7) and then begin to finalize their maps to submit to the Wisconsin Legislature in mid-October. The Republican majority in the Legislature may well ignore the PMC maps but regardless they will likely form the basis of "alternative" voting maps to the partisan gerrymandered voting maps expected to be put forward by majority Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature to later be considered by the State Supreme Court and/or a federal three judge panel in the certain litigation ahead to determine the final maps in this redistricting process. Court involvement and determination of the final voting maps would occur after Gov. Tony Evers vetoes the partisan Republican voting maps, which he has publicly vowed to do.
 
Common Cause in Wisconsin (CC/WI) believes the PMC maps are a vast improvement over the 2011 gerrymandered voting maps. The PMC realistically concedes that there is a Republican advantage in a fair redistricting process by virtue of the way Democrats tend to be more concentrated in urban areas and Republicans are more spread out over rural areas. They didn't engineer a partisan Democratic gerrymander as some skeptics feared they might or predicted they would. Instead, the People’s Maps Commission produced draft maps that met overwhelming citizen demand for fairness utilizing non-partisan criteria such as contiguity, compactness, less division of counties, cities, and communities of interest. These maps do a far better job of keeping counties, cities, and communities of interest intact than the partisan 2011 G.O.P. maps that badly butchered or ignored altogether those factors.
 
The PMC said they really took into consideration the more than 1,000 local and state maps that were submitted to them over the past year from citizens all over the state. So unlike in 2011, there was considerable public input into these maps. Ten years ago, the public, the media and everyone else but G.O.P legislative leaders and their high-priced lawyers were completely shut off from the redistricting process.
 
Tim Cullen, the Chair of the CC/WI State Board was a former Democratic State Senate Majority Leader and was a leading proponent of non-partisan redistricting reform in the Wisconsin Legislature, said today, "Voting Maps viewed by the public as fair, will produce better candidates, organizations and campaigns and the citizens of Wisconsin will feel that fairness is back in our state elections. I am very pleased that the People’s Maps Commission did their work so well. I was concerned that there might be some tilting toward the Democrats. There wasn't. These maps reflect the political geography of Wisconsin. They are realistic and fair and I believe they will truly have a positive impact in the courts."
 
The PMC draft maps were released for public inspection two days after Republicans in the State Senate and Assembly strong-armed through -- along strictly party lines -- joint resolutions calling for new state legislative and congressional districts to be changed "as little as possible" from the heavily, hyper partisan gerrymandered 2011 voting maps passed by the G.O.P. That certainly indicates their intention to try to repeat this year what they did a decade ago during redistricting.
 
TAKE ACTION: CC/WI urges citizens to view the draft state legislative and congressional voting maps put forward by the People’s Maps Commission and provide them feedback in the next three days. You can view and comment on the maps through the PMC website
 
For good news summaries of the PMC map release and how they fit into the overall picture of redistricting in Wisconsin this year you can go here (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel subscription required to view article) and here. (Wisconsin Examiner free article).
 
The redistricting process is moving ahead very rapidly now. The tremendous energy and determination of so many Wisconsin citizens of all political persuasions to secure a much fairer and less partisan redistricting process this year is moving forward. We need to keep the pressure on and get the outcome we all desire to take fair voting maps to the finish line.
 
Thanks for your support and active participation in advancing democracy in Wisconsin!
 
Jay Heck
CC/WI Executive Director

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Contact: 
Jay Heck
608/256-2686 (office)
608/512-9363 (cell)

Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 Johnson St, Suite 212
Madison, WI 53703
www.commoncausewisconsin.org

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