Democracy for All

The long-term health of Wisconsin is inextricably linked with the health of our democracy. A free, fair, and equitable political process is essential to ensuring that elected officials reflect the values of their constituents and advance protections that are critical to our health, our environment, and future generations.

Our democracy fails when any voices are excluded.

Wisconsin Conservation Voters recognizes decision-making power is too often in the hands of the few and the most privileged. We are committed to shifting that power to individuals and communities by making voting more accessible to all.

For a decade, our state has been heavily gerrymandered and anti-democracy forces in the state legislature have time and again passed laws that disenfranchise voters.

Wisconsin Conservation Voters is focused on opportunities to defend our right to vote and support voter access both on the local and state levels because we understand without a healthy, accessible democracy we cannot properly address the climate crisis.

Matt Rothschild, former executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, speaks at a fair maps rally in August 2021.

Gerrymandering and fair maps

Wisconsin has a history of gerrymandered maps, meaning voting districts were drawn by a political party to give them an unfair advantage in elections. Wisconsin’s gerrymandered maps deprive our state of fair representation and silence the voices of people of color.

In 2021, Wisconsin Assembly Republicans passed their proposed maps, which are a re-up of the 2011 gerrymander and maintain their undemocratic and unfair advantage in elections. The Wisconsin Supreme Court then adopted the maps option under a “least change” framework.

A lawsuit was filed in August 2023 challenging the current voting maps in Wisconsin. Over the next several months, the courts will decide the future of Wisconsin’s maps and we know these decisions will have huge impacts on Wisconsinites for years to come. You can read more about the lawsuit here. We will continue advocating for fair maps to ensure our state has clean water, clean energy, and a healthy democracy.

Learn more about Wisconsin's gerrymandered districts and how you can help our state achieve fair maps.

A Wisconsin Conservation Voters Organizer speaks to community members at a tabling event in the Riverwest neighborhood of Milwaukee.

Disenfranchisement in Wisconsin

In the United States – and in Wisconsin in particular – many people are disenfranchised. Racist legislation has made it more difficult for Black, Indigenous and people of color to vote, and other laws have targeted low-income people, disabled people, young people, previously-incarcerated people, and people whose first language isn't English.

For over a decade, anti-democracy forces have pushed legislation to make it harder to vote in Wisconsin. Under Governor Scott Walker's Administration, Wisconsin decision makers and the GOP-led state legislature made access to the polls significantly more difficult. They passed legislation that added a complicated proof of residency process for registration, a photo ID requirement for voting, and other systems that make voter registration more difficult. These restrictive voter laws have the greatest impact on Black, Indigenous, and communities of color.

Today, the assault on voting rights continues. Following the 2020 Presidential Election, which elections experts have deemed fair and free, the GOP-led state legislature has sowed doubt about the election results and introduced legislation that further restricts voting access. Some politicians like Robin Vos and Michael Gableman are attacking our freedoms, wasting our taxpayer dollars, and using anti-voter scams in Wisconsin to spread lies about an election that trusted officials conducted and verified.

Read more about the history of disenfranchisement in Wisconsin and how to take action here.

“Conservation enriches our quality of life and strengthens our economic future.”

father. angler. voter.

Nick Milroy, Superior


After years working shoulder-to-shoulder with students, labor members, disability advocates, Wisconsin Conservation Voters members, and many others, we were able to expand early voting in the City of Green Bay. The very limited options for early voting in Green Bay had long been a concern of local residents and students. The combined organizing efforts of these diverse groups – along with the support of Green Bay Clerk Celestine Jeffreys – led to a unanimous vote to expand early voting hours and access to the ballot box. "This decision enhances our freedom to vote by expanding early voting access and working to ensure all Green Bay residents have equal access to cast their vote,” said Organizing Director Casey Hicks.


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