In response to the redistricting bill introduced by state legislators, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin is pushing for stronger, more staunchly nonpartisan solutions to our gerrymandered maps. Debra Cronmiller, LWVWI executive director, issued the following statement in response.
The League and its grassroots volunteers have been part of a years-long effort to educate the public about gerrymandering and demand a permanent solution to ensure fair maps for generations to come.
While we are happy to see legislators look into a potential solution for the current partisan map-drawing process, this bill does not meet the needs of Wisconsinites and does not have enough nonpartisan safeguards in place.
Simply put, the bill doesn’t go far enough. The League finds several areas troubling and is hoping for amendments.
First, it would not guarantee full independence of the Legislative Reference Bureau, the agency which would draft the maps. The bill should prohibit lobbyists, high-level donors, and those hired by legislative leaders from working on the redistricting process.
Additionally, the bill should provide more transparency in the map-drawing process. Public hearings should be required throughout the process.
And, startlingly, this bill doesn’t have the processes in place to ensure it is fully nonpartisan. With this current bill, the majority of the Legislature would be able to reject the maps twice, and then create their own gerrymandered maps in accordance with their goals and party.
This bill, if enacted, could result in more of the same extremely gerrymandered Legislative maps that we have now. This bill needs to require a supermajority (or 3/4 vote) of the Legislature, to ensure one party does not overrule the process.
Wisconsinites have been fighting long and hard for fair maps. We deserve a strong solution.”