Carr: State legislature needs to protect democracy, draw new maps

Right after hundreds of Wisconsinites participated last Monday in a legislative lobby day to request fair maps, our legislature passed Assembly Joint Resolution 80 and Senate Joint Resolution 63 to largely preserve the state’s existing district lines.

Also, our legislature is wasting taxpayer dollars by bringing premature lawsuits to protect the existing maps. In other words, our legislature wants to keep the 2011 rigged partisan election maps. They want to protect their own jobs instead of protecting democracy.

Wisconsinites already know that gerrymandered, rigged maps are an attack on democracy. We know that such districts ensure that one party will win the election, diluting the votes for the other party, so that elections are not fair. We also know that a representative in a gerrymandered district has no incentive to respond to our concerns, as they should in a government “by the people.” Finally, we understand that rigged maps move the real contest to the primary races, designing a system in which the most extreme, partisan politicians of both parties get elected. Extremists are not good at governing.

Wisconsin is, by party affiliation, a purple, or bipartisan, state. Prior to the corrupt 2011 process that resulted in our current gerrymandered maps, we sometimes had a majority of Republicans and sometimes had a majority of Democrats in office. Since 2011, however, our bipartisan reality has been falsely distorted by an overrepresentation of Republicans in our state legislature and federal delegation.

The year 2021 is the time to draw the maps properly. A functioning democratic government cannot not pre-select one party or the other. Please call your state Assembly and Senate representatives and demand fair maps. In Lodi, those are Senator Joan Ballweg at 608-266-0751 and Assembly Representative Jon Plumer at 608-282-3642. Demand that the new maps be simply drawn by a nonpartisan commission, passed through the legislature, and signed by the governor. Your calls will make a difference.

Tess Carr

Lodi

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