Every ten years following the census, states redraw their electoral maps and determine district shapes for the decade until the next census. In Wisconsin, the redistricting process is partisan – political parties draw up the maps and often give themselves power and control. This is called gerrymandering, and Wisconsin's gerrymander is particularly egregious. It has allowed political parties to pick their constituents rather than voters picking their representatives. It's wrong.
Gerrymandering is bad because it rigs the political game in favor of one party. In Wisconsin, the gerrymander has come from the right. Back in 2010, the Republican-led Wisconsin Legislature hired an out-of-state computer programmer to lead a partisan redistricting process that cut maps that unfairly advantaged themselves.
Under these gerrymandered maps, one expert claimed that Republicans are "virtually 100 percent" certain to retain majorities. Indeed, in the 2018 election, Democrats received 190,000 more votes than Republicans statewide but won fewer seats – Republicans won 63 of the 99 seats.
After the 2020 census, 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. After being kicked up – and back down – from the U.S. Supreme Court, the Wisconsin Supreme Court adopted the maps option under a "least change" framework. These maps condemn Wisconsin to another decade of extreme gerrymander and further erode our ability to choose our own representatives.
Redistricting and fair maps
To ensure all voters' ballots carry equal weight, Wisconsin needs fair maps. Wisconsinites overwhelmingly support fair maps, and it is incumbent upon the legislature and courts to honor the will of the people and pursue a transparent, democratic redistricting process.