The Fair Maps Pledge
The Fair Elections Project and the Wisconsin Fair Maps Coalition have endorsed legislation in favor of independent redistricting in Wisconsin.
Historically, the Legislature has had the responsibility for drawing legislative district maps. In 1971 the parties compromised on a fair map, and then when the parties could not agree in 1981, 1991, and 2001, federal courts drew the maps, also broadly seen as fair. In 2011, Republicans who controlled the Governor’s office and both houses of the Legislature, in a corrupt process costing taxpayers millions of dollars, drew rigged (“gerrymandered”) maps that were designed to cement one-party control of the Assembly for a decade, regardless of what voters chose in elections.
These rigged maps worked. In 2012, Democrats won significant majority of the vote, but only 39 of 99 seats in the Assembly. In 2014, Republicans won the vote and even more seats, and then in 2016 they won a narrower margin of votes but won an even larger share of seats.
The map Wisconsin voters use to elect candidates for the State Assembly has already been declared unconstitutional once by a federal court, in a case that was litigated all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and which continues to be argued at the trial level. And one measurement found Wisconsin’s maps “the most unfair in modern American political history.”
There is a better way. The neighboring state of Iowa delegates line-drawing to an independent legislative agency, which must disregard political objectives and conduct public hearings to ensure Fair Maps. The Iowa Legislature is compelled to vote up or down on the agency’s maps without amendments. Other states utilize nonpartisan, independent, and bipartisan commissions. We believe map-drawing must be fair, independent, and ensure meaningful elections in which voters’ votes count.
Candidates who sign the pledge will be listed below.
FOR LEGISLATIVE CANDIDATES:
As a candidate for the Wisconsin State Assembly/Senate, I support an independent process to draw legislative district maps. If elected, I will fight to pass a bill by June 30, 2019, and will insist upon a new process before we finalize a 2019-21 biennial budget, so we can be sure the next redistricting process results in Fair Maps for the next decade.
FOR GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES:
As a candidate for Governor, I support an independent process to draw legislative district maps. If elected, I will introduce an independent redistricting process as part of my budget proposal, and fund adequate staff and technology. I will insist upon inclusion of a new process in the final 2019-2021 biennial budget, so we can be sure the next redistricting process results in Fair Maps for the next decade.
Submitting the Pledge:
Candidates can demonstrate their support of the pledge by printing, signing, and sending it in via email or snail mail, or by sending an email indicating their support from their personal account or personal Facebook page to the Fair Elections Project. The pledge can be downloaded by clicking here.
Snail mail: Fair Elections Project, 5027 W. North Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53208
CANDIDATES WHO’VE SIGNED THE FAIR MAPS PLEDGE
WILL BE LISTED HERE