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Op-Ed Paints Grim Picture Of Democracy In Wisconsin

Questionnaire on redistricting
The legal battle has begun over the redistricting process in Wisconsin.

The redistricting process has only just begun in Wisconsin and the legal battle between Republicans and Democrats is already underway. Democrats have filed a lawsuit stating the current maps subvert the concept of one-person-one-vote. They want the new maps to be created by the federal court. A conservative law group, Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty or WILL filed a new lawsuit also claiming the 2011 maps were unconstitutional, asking that the Wisconsin Supreme Court redraw the maps.

David Daley has written extensively about the impact of gerrymandering and the importance of redistricting in maintaining a representative democracy. His recent op-ed in the Guardian says that democracy and election integrity in Wisconsin is comparable to the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo or Jordan. Daley says, "It really begins with the process of redistricting. And what happens in the state of Wisconsin is that the powers that be in the legislature, if you control a majority in the state house and state senate, you effectively are able to control redistricting."

Daley says new technology like geo mapping is being used to draw voting districts and that has led to a decay in our democracy. "The lines that were drawn after the 2010 elections a decade ago were more surgical, were more precise, and they have given the parties that drew them historic, decade-long advantages, the likes of which we haven't seen in American politics before," he says.

The fight over redistricting in Wisconsin could be long and drawn out. "In some ways I think the real question in Wisconsin is going to be what happens with your 2022 election for governor, because you are going to have an unsettled state of play I believe, with regard to your legislative maps," Daley explains.

Joy Powers hosts and produces Lake Effect. She joined WUWM in 2016.
Kobe Brown is WUWM's Eric Von fellow.
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