Tag: redistricting

Tuesday, April 1 is Election Day

election daySpring 2014 elections will be held tomorrow, Tuesday, April 1, 2014. While most races on the ballot are local and non-partisan, voters in Dane County will be asked their preferences on two legislative issues, including one on redistricting legislation:

“Should the Wisconsin Constitution be amended to require a nonpartisan system for redistricting legislative and congressional districts in the state?”

PROFS is registered in support of AB 185/SB 163, bills that would change the way the state draws legislative and congressional districts every ten years. The bills would shift the work of redistricting from the Legislature to the non-partisan Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB).

A second referendum asks voters if the state should legalize marijuana.

Voters can check their registration status, learn more about local races, and find where to vote on the MyVoteWisconsin website.

UW-Madison Political Scientists Testify on Legislative Redistricting

winter capitolRetiring senators Tim Cullen (D-Janesville) and Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) held a public hearing on legislative redistricting yesterday, filling a hearing room where more than 75 people testified or registered in support of Assembly Bill 185. The bill would put legislative redistricting in the hands of non-partisan experts but still allow legislative oversight.

Political science professors Ken Mayer and David Canon spoke at the hearing, testifying that the current process is costly and overtly political. Instead, the two experts favor a model used by neighboring Iowa. The Iowa system requires district boundaries to be drawn logically, following municipality borders where possible.

In Wisconsin, the political party in power is responsible for redrawing legislative districts every ten years, resulting in districts that help preserve that party’s majority.

Canon, referring to the most recent maps drawn in 2012, said that practice eliminates competitive legislative races:

“The maps, in fact, were carefully drawn to maximize the advantage for the Republican Party. This is a bipartisan issue, because if Democrats were in control they would have done the same thing.”

Mayer said current practice is “divisive, polarizing, expensive, litigious and undermines basic notions of representation.”

PROFS has been working on the issue of legislative redistricting for some time and arranged a meeting between UW-Madison faculty and Senators Cullen and Schultz last year. PROFS is registered in favor AB 185 and its companion SB 163.

PROFS Supports Changes to Legislative Redistricting

PROFS recently registered in support of Assembly Bill 185 and Senate Bill 163, legislation that would change the way the state draws legislative and congressional districts every ten years. The bills would shift the work of redistricting from the Legislature…

Legislature Passes Fast-Tracked Redistricting Plan

Every ten years, the legislature tackles legislative redistricting — redrawing legislative lines to account for changes in the state’s population. The process is often partisan and contentious, and occasionally lands in the courts. The Assembly voted yesterday along largely party…