Waupaca County Opposes Gerrymandering
Conservative-leaning county’s board vote means 46 (of 72) state counties now favor non-partisan redistricting.
On April 16 the Waupaca County board became the 46th county board to pass a resolution urging our state legislators to ban gerrymandering in Wisconsin and to adopt nonpartisan redistricting.
Waupaca is conservative territory, and the passing of the referendum there is yet more confirmation that this is an issue that’s popular across the board. A Marquette Law School poll earlier this year showed that 72 percent of Wisconsinites want to ban gerrymandering, including 63 percent of Republicans and 76 percent of Independents. Like Waupaca County, which Donald Trump carried with 63 percent of the vote, 34 of the 46 Wisconsin counties that have passed this resolution went for Trump in 2016.
The momentum keeps building. In addition to Waupaca County, three other county boards passed the resolution this month: Buffalo County, Iowa County, and Fond du Lac County.
What’s more, on April 2, county-wide referendums passed by overwhelming margins in La Crosse County and Vernon County. (Also that day, the Town of Newbold, near Rhinelander, held a referendum on the issue, and it passed with 69 percent approval.)
Here are the eight counties that have passed the referendum so far, along with the lopsided votes in favor:
- Dane: 4/1/2014, 82% in favor
- Eau Claire: 11/6/18, 74% in favor
- La Crosse: 4/2/2019, 77% in favor
- Lincoln: 11/6/18, 65% in favor
- Outagamie: 4/3/2018, 72% in favor
- Sauk: 11/6/18, 72% in favor
- Vernon: 4/2/2019, 71% in favor
- Winnebago: 11/6/18, 69% in favor
This is one of the most underreported stories about grassroots activism in Wisconsin.
This powerful effort is the result of coordinated organizing by Citizen Action Cooperatives, Common Cause in Wisconsin, the Fair Elections Project, Grassroots North Shore, Indivisible, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, Our Wisconsin Revolution, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, Wisconsin Voices, and a few other groups.
It’s also the result of some inspired leadership by Lincoln County board member Hans Breitenmoser, who galvanized the county-by-county effort. And it’s the result of years of talks, all around the state, by former State Senators Tim Cullen and Dale Schultz (Cullen was Majority Leader for the Democrats at one point, and Schultz was Majority Leader for the Republicans).
Finally, it’s also the result of spontaneous organizing by local citizens who have been aroused by the issue of gerrymandering.
- Republicans Lose Lawyers Before Redistricting Starts - State Sen. Melissa Agard - Apr 29th, 2021
- Judge Prohibits Republicans Using Private Lawyers for Redistricting - Shawn Johnson - Apr 29th, 2021
- Op Ed: How Gerrymandered Are We? - Kevin Baas - Apr 29th, 2021
- Murphy’s Laws: The New Gerrymandering Scheme - Bruce Murphy - Apr 27th, 2021
- Evers Redistricting Panel Seeks ‘Partisan Fairness’ - Shawn Johnson - Apr 17th, 2021
- Law Forward’s “Redistricting 101” Provides Much-needed Overview of Critical but Complicated Process - Law Forward - Apr 15th, 2021
- Op Ed: Wisconsin Needs Fair Maps - Ruth Conniff - Apr 1st, 2021
- Your Right to Know: Redistricting Shouldn’t Be Done In Secret - Matthew DeFour - Mar 2nd, 2021
- Redistricting conversation continues on virtual “On the Issues,” Feb. 11 - Marquette University - Feb 10th, 2021
- Op Ed: Redistricting Should Consider Native Americans - Tehassi Hill - Feb 9th, 2021
Read more about Gerrymandering of Legislative Districts here