Letter to the Editor RTSA

The recent news that the Wisconsin Supreme Court determined “least change” will be a primary consideration when choosing new voting district maps is a major blow to fairness and is not part of the Wisconsin Constitution. 

Redistricting is the process of redrawing the state’s political maps based on the latest census showing how populations have changed in neighborhoods, cities and counties since 2010.

Mapmakers can create an advantage for their political party in future elections by packing opponents’ voters into a few districts or spreading them thin among multiple districts – a process known as gerrymandering.

Polls show Wisconsinites overwhelmingly support a nonpartisan, impartial process for determining the political districts of the state. We want to be fairly represented and gerrymandering prevents our voices from being heard in a fair and equitable manner.

We must count on our courts to hear any cases brought before them about redistricting with all Wisconsin voters in mind. We need our judges to put aside partisan politics and fairly represent the best interests of the voters in our great state of Wisconsin.

Unfortunately, in the 4–3 majority decision our State Supreme Court sided with the Republican-backed Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) lawyers. This means that the court will choose a map that benefits Republicans the most, instead of one that reflects all of Wisconsin.

Well-established criteria for drawing political maps do exist – compactness, contiguity and competitiveness. The court ignored these in favor of “least change” from the prior gerrymandered districts, setting a terrible precedent.

Please talk to your friends and neighbors, so they understand the importance of fair maps and fair courts. Sunlight is the best defense. Elected judges must know we’re watching and expecting nonpartisan decisions.

Amy Noonan

Hudson

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