Wisconsin Assembly to vote on new mapmaking process



(The Center Square) – Republicans at the Wisconsin Capitol want to change how the state draws its political maps, but the governor is already saying no.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, is proposing a plan that would have the Legislative Reference Bureau draw new maps, instead of lawmakers or the courts.

“There is nothing wrong with the current maps,” Vos told Ja Weber on News Talk 1130 WISN on Wednesday. “But I also appreciate the fact that we are heading into a time where we have to pivot and do something different, or we have to deal with the consequences of incredibly expensive lawsuits, $4 million in attack ads, and all kinds of lies.”

Republicans at the Capitol have been talking about impeaching newly elected Justice Janet Protasiewicz because of what she said about the legislative maps while she was running for the Supreme Court.

Democrats have promised to target the Republicans who talk about impeachment in the next election.

Vos’ proposal would be similar to the commission Iowa uses to draw its maps.

“The Iowa model, which for 20 years, 30 years [Democrats] have said is the gold standard,” Vos added.

Gov. Tony Evers proposed an Iowa-style commission for Wisconsin’s political maps in 2019.

Now, Evers is dismissing the idea.

“Republicans are making a last-ditch effort to retain legislative control by having someone Legislature-picked and Legislature-approved draw Wisconsin’s maps. That is bogus,” Evers said in a statement. ““A Legislature that has now repeatedly demonstrated they will not uphold basic tenets of our democracy – and will bully, threaten, or fire on a whim anyone who happens to disagree with them – cannot be trusted to appoint or oversee someone charged with drawing fair maps. And I’m not going to participate in enabling Republicans in the Legislature to keep trying to use and abuse their power to control the outcome of our elections.”

Vos said that stance from the governor shows he and his fellow Democrats don’t want fair maps, they simply want maps that give them an advantage.

“It’s total hypocrisy,” Vos said. “They’re going to now let the Supreme Court [draw the maps] because they think they have an electoral advantage there.”

Vos plans to have the Assembly vote on his redistricting change Thursday, it would go to the Senate after that.

Wisconsin drew its maps after the 2020 Census, but a number of progressive groups have asked the new liberal-majority Supreme Court to redraw the maps ahead of the 2024 elections.



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