Wisconsin Democrats scored a huge win when Tony Evers captured the governor’s office last month. But an even bigger fight is looming as Republican lawmakers prepare to redraw legislative boundaries, stirring fears among Democrats that their rivals could take unprecedented steps to remove Evers from the process. State law requires legislators to redraw the boundaries every 10 years to reflect population changes. It’s a high-stakes task since the party in control can craft maps that consolidate their power and lock in their majority for years. The last time lawmakers drew new boundaries was in 2011, when Republicans controlled the Senate, Assembly and governor’s office. A federal judicial panel invalidated the Assembly districts as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander in 2016. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned that in June and sent the case back to the lower court to establish whether there was harm to particular voters. A new trial is set for April.
Democrats have pointed to the midterm election as the latest example of the unfairness of the GOP-drawn districts. Democrats got a majority (54 percent) of the total votes cast for major-party candidates but fill just 36 percent of the seats in the chamber.
Meanwhile, the next round of redistricting is set for early 2021. After suffocating for a decade from the 2011 maps, Democrats had high hopes in the first days after the election that Evers would block another set of Republican-drawn boundaries.
But nervous Democrats fear Republicans may take steps to remove or weaken the governor’s power in the redistricting process.
Full Article: Wisconsin Democrats fear GOP redistricting end-around.