The drive to improve the way Wisconsin redraws its district maps is rapidly gaining speed. Using advanced mathematical modeling, Republicans have gerrymandered the state’s current political map so that 40 percent of its districts do not have competitive elections. The winners have already been chosen by the way that boundaries were drawn. In the first eight months of this year, a total of 17 counties in Wisconsin have endorsed the Iowa Model, and 7 counties endorsed it in previous years, so 24 counties are now on board. Three counties – Kenosha, La Crosse, and Monroe — have passed resolutions saying they are in favor of nonpartisan redistricting in just the past few weeks.
Under nonpartisan districtinrg, the district maps are not drawn by the political party in power but by civil servants who use specific criteria to ensure that the maps are not rigged in favor of any party.
That’s how it’s been done in Iowa for the past 35 years, so this nonpartisan process is called the Iowa Model.
This movement for fair maps has gained speed for three reasons. The first is because of the Whitford case, the successful federal lawsuit against the Wisconsin Republican legislative leaders who gerrymandered the maps in 2011 to secure a partisan advantage. A three judge panel ruled last November that this was unconstitutional, and the case is now at the U.S. Supreme Court.