Draw ‘Fair Maps’

Dear Editor:

Have you noticed those “FAIR MAPS” yard signs around town? Fair Maps refers to the political (mal)practice of “hyper-partisanship gerrymandering” or “extreme gerrymandering.” We at DeForest-Windsor Area Grassroots are very concerned about what the latest manifestation of extreme, hyper-partisanship gerrymandering is doing to our democracy.

Gerrymandering has been a part of American politics since 1812, when Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry signed a bill that redrew Massachusetts’ voting districts in such a way as to give his party an unfair advantage over its rival party in state elections. Both modern parties have engaged in gerrymandering over the decades. Neither is innocent. However, of late, the practice has become so extreme that most people recognize it for the wholesale attack on fair voting that it has become.

The good news is that there is a relatively easy solution to the problem. Most of us look to the so-called Iowa model as the fix. In Iowa, even though the state legislature retains final authority to implement district maps, an independent advisory commission drafts legislative district boundaries.

Bipartisan legislation (SB 288 and AB 303) has been introduced in the Wisconsin legislature to create in Wisconsin something like the Iowa system. Most of Wisconsin’s seventy-two counties have passed resolutions supporting such a change. There is interest in the DeForest-Vienna-Windsor area to pass such supportive resolutions, as well.

When I was municipal judge in DeForest, one of my goals was to have people leave the courtroom confident that they had been treated fairly. Isn’t that the essence of good government {span}– {/span}not only to be treated fairly in fact but also to believe with confidence that you have been treated fairly? Let’s pass these bills in the legislature, so that we in Wisconsin can believe with confidence that we are being treated fairly, when we go to the polls and cast our votes.

John Scepanski


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