Monday, April 22, 2024

New GOP-passed maps that weaken gerrymandering become law in Wisconsin – The Washington Post

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Wisconsin’s governor signed new legislative maps into law Monday that redraw voting lines and reverse a decade of gerrymandering that favored Republicans statewide.

Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, said the overhaul was a step toward “a fair, independent, nonpartisan redistricting system.” The new maps were approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature, with bipartisan support.

“Wisconsin is neither a red state nor a blue state – we are a purple state, and I believe our maps should reflect that basic fact,” Evers said in a statement. “It is up to the people to choose their elected officials, and not the other way around. And under the cards I sign today, I keep that promise.

The new maps are for state legislative elections, not state congressional maps. Republicans hold six of the state’s eight congressional seats.

Wisconsin Republicans vote to weaken their lockdown on the legislature

In December, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that the state’s legislative maps were unconstitutional and required new maps to be put in place before this year’s elections. The court, which is newly controlled by liberals after 15 years of conservative rule, has said it will revise the maps unless Evers and lawmakers can agree on a new plan.

Robin Vos, the top Republican in the Wisconsin Assembly, accepted the outcome of the judicial and legislative process.

“Today, Governor Evers signed the most Republican maps of all the Democratic maps considered by the Wisconsin Supreme Court,” Vos said. “We sent him these maps, not because they are fair, but because Wisconsinites deserve some certainty in state government.”

Vos added that “Republicans will prove that we can win on any map because we have the best policy ideas.”

Eric Holder, who served as attorney general under President Barack Obama and now chairs a group that targets gerrymandering by Republican-led legislatures, applauded Wisconsin’s new maps. He said they are proposing a plan to undo gerrymandering in other states such as North Carolina, Texas, Florida and Ohio.

“The new legislative maps mark the beginning of a new chapter for democracy in Wisconsin and the potential end of the Republican Party’s illegitimate hold on political power,” Holder said in a statement.

Patrick Marley contributed to this report.

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