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(58,596 posts)
Tue Feb 27, 2024, 01:18 AM Feb 27

New voting maps propel a surge of optimism for Wisconsin Democrats [View all]

Last week’s sudden resolution of more than a decade of struggle for fair voting maps in Wisconsin was stunning.

Ever since Republicans took control of both houses of the Legislature and the governor’s office in 2010, and then redrew the maps in a secret, backroom process that locked in the worst partisan gerrymander in the country, citizens have been struggling to claw back a more even political playing field. Fair maps advocates waged a yearslong county-by-county campaign, passing resolutions in 56 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties — three quarters of them in Republican-leaning areas — calling for fair maps and a nonpartisan redistricting process.

Meanwhile, the gerrymandered majority in the Wisconsin Legislature ran up legal bills costing taxpayers more than $4 million defending their unfair maps all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court — which ultimately decided that federal courts have no role to play in partisan gerrymandering cases.

The big breakthrough came when voters elected Janet Protasiewicz to the Wisconsin Supreme Court by a hefty margin. Protasiewicz, who described the gerrymandered maps as “rigged” during her campaign, changed the ideological balance of the Court. The first case the Court accepted after she was seated was a gerrymandering challenge.


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