Ballots Won’t Have Duplicate Gerrymandering Questions
City rescinds its referendum question after Milwaukee County passed a similar measure.
The Milwaukee Common Council held a special meeting Thursday afternoon to avoid a potentially confusing ballot issue in the April 7th election.
The council voted to revoke its non-binding referendum question on establishing a non-partisan procedure for drawing legislative districts, deferring to a similar question that will be included on all Milwaukee County voters. Alderman Cavalier Johnson introduced the file on September 4th and the council unanimously approved submitting the question to city voters on October 15th after delaying a vote on September 24th.
Members of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors introduced a similar referendum question on September 25th, but didn’t approve the matter until November 7th. The measure was sponsored by council members Willie Johnson, Jr., Sylvia Ortiz-Velez, Steven Shea, Sequanna Taylor and Jason Haas. Supervisors Deanna Alexander, Patti Logsdon and Dan Sebring voted against authorizing the referendum.
A fiscal note attached to the county’s question estimates the cost of executing the referendum at $15,000.
The non-binding question comes in response to a Republican-led redistricting process in 2011 that resulted in a Supreme Court challenge. The federal court on a 5-4 ruling determined it could not hear cases involving a state partisan process. Republicans won 60 of the 99 Wisconsin State Assembly seats as a result of the new maps, though the total votes cast for Democrats exceeded those for Republicans.
As of the spring 2019 election, 42 county boards have voted to ban gerrymandering and eight counties have passed referendums in opposition to the process. The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors voted 16-2 to request non-partisan redistricting in 2017.
Wisconsin districts are scheduled to be redrawn following the 2020 US Census.
Milwaukee voters heading to the polls on April 7th will find a host of races on their ballot, including a Presidential partisan primary, and races for state Supreme Court justice, six Milwaukee County Circuit Court seats, Milwaukee County Executive, county and city comptroller, county supervisor, Common Council, Mayor, City Treasurer and City Attorney.
Should the Wisconsin Legislature create a nonpartisan procedure for the preparation of Legislative and Congressional district plans and maps?
Should the City of Milwaukee request that the Wisconsin Legislature pass legislation creating a non-partisan procedure for drawing legislative district maps that will result in fair political representation for all Wisconsin voters?
If you think stories like this are important, become a member of Urban Milwaukee and help support real, independent journalism. Plus you get some cool added benefits, all detailed here.
Related Legislation: File 191780
- 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