Wisconsin's Impending Redistricting May Decide The Future Of Politics For The Next Decade
Every decade states around the country redraw their district maps. This process creates different legislative and congressional districts, proportionately divided by population. But since it last happened in 2011, the redistricting process has become increasingly controversial.
Gerrymandering is the process dividing districts based on political preference, and it allows politicians to choose their voters. Gerrymandered districts have come to dominate legislatures around the country, including here in Wisconsin.
These districts have allowed Republican politicians in the Wisconsin Legislature to retain majorities in both the Assembly and Senate, even when their party receives fewer votes. Gerrymandering expert, David Daley, says that's bad for democracy.
"A majority of people in Wisconsin ought to be able to change the direction of their government if they think it’s going the wrong way. Partisan gerrymandering prevents that, it entrenches these folks," he explains.
Daley is the author of Ratf***ed: Why Your Vote Doesn't Count, which details Republican efforts to takeover state houses in the 2010 election as a way to control the process of redistricting and ensure their power over these states through gerrymandering.
Although a ruling from the Supreme Court of the United States allows state courts to remedy issues with partisan gerrymandering, Daley says that's unlikely to happen in Wisconsin. So although Governor Evers has the ability to veto any unfair maps designed by the Wisconsin legislature, the fight over these maps would then likely end up at the Wisconsin Supreme Court which has a conservative majority and is known to decide cases along partisan lines.
"I think you're looking at a long time before there will be any check on the conservative Republicans in the Wisconsin legislature," says Daley.