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Senate Republicans OK majority Evers’ legislative maps

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(The Center Square) – There’s a new strategy at play over Wisconsin’s political maps.

Senate Republicans late Tuesday approved new legislative maps based on the design from Gov. Tony Evers.

“[This map] moves .781% of the state’s population compared to the governor’s maps,” Senate Majority Leader Devin Lemahieu explained. “That means that 99.219% is identical to the governor’s maps.”

The thinking, according to Republicans at the Capitol, is that Evers’ maps do the least amount of damage to the current Republican majorities in the State Senate and State Assembly.

Democrats, however, said the Republican vote for the governor’s maps is just another attempt to gerrymander the state in their favor.

“It’s clear that this is really incumbent-protection garbage,” Senate Minority Leader Dianne Hesselbein said.

She said the map that Republicans approved is not Evers’ map “because they’re going to be changing it to protect their incumbents,”

A spokeswoman for the governor office said the governor won’t sign a map that is gerrymandered by Republicans.

The Senate vote comes as the new liberal-majority Wisconsin Supreme Court is moving toward new maps for the state’s lawmakers. Those maps are to be finished by March 15 and almost every map designs would flip the legislature from Republican-controlled to Democrat-controlled.

LeMahieu said the only way the liberal-majority court can do that is to gerrymander the state against Republicans and pit incumbents against each other.

“Fair maps advocates, and the governor himself, have asserted that incumbency should not be considered during the redistricting process,” LeMahieu said. “But in the governor’s submission, it’s clear that he considered incumbency…the governor considered incumbency to ensure disenfranchisement of voters all around the state.”

Assembly Republicans are expected to take up the same maps, and the same strategy next.

After that the maps would go back to Evers.

“Let’s be very clear: if Republicans today take up maps that are not the fair maps Gov. Evers submitted to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, then they aren’t the governor’s maps. Period,” Evers spokeswoman Britt Cudaback said on social media after the vote.

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