Keep nonpartisan redistricting in the state budget

For a vast majority of Wisconsin voters, the nonpartisan redistricting plan included in Gov. Evers’ proposed budget is a direct and welcome response to public demand for a new, nonpartisan process for preparing legislative and congressional redistricting plans. The momentum behind redistricting reform is indisputable.

On April 2, voters in Vernon and La Crosse counties became the latest to act on an advisory referendum expressing support for nonpartisan redistricting. So far, eight counties around the state have passed this same referendum by wide (65 percent-82 percent) margins.

In April alone, three more county boards have passed resolutions supporting creation of a nonpartisan redistricting process in Wisconsin and urging the Legislature to do the same. A total of 45 counties, representing at least 74 percent of the state’s population, have acted on similar resolutions.

2019 polling by Marquette University indicates that 72 percent of Wisconsin voters prefer redistricting of legislative and congressional districts to be done by a nonpartisan commission. Majorities in each partisan group – across the board – favor a nonpartisan commission for redistricting.

Although Assembly Speaker Robin Vos seeks to eliminate the governor’s redistricting proposal because he favors the current system for redistricting, his position is demonstrably out of step with the majority electorate throughout the state.

A fair democracy means our elected representatives must respect the popular will, even when they disagree with it. Redistricting reform should remain in the budget so it can be passed into law before the 2020 Census and creation of new voting maps.

Leslie Wegener, Stoddard

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