Gerrymandering

To the Editor,

This past April Fools Day, the Assembly Committee on Elections and Campaigns held an “Informational Hearing on Legislative Redistricting.” You can watch a tape of that hearing by selecting the “Committees” tab in the WisconsinEye website http://www.wiseye.org/

Almost all editorial boards of state newspapers and polling of the public showed overwhelming support for changing the redistricting process that made Wisconsin one of the most gerrymandered states in the nation. Legislators dragged their feet and nothing was done as leadership on one side of the aisle said changes are “off the table” or are a “non-starter.”

But now they had to do something because 16 Senators and all 99 Assembly representatives are up for election in August- November! They now can say “we are considering changes” in redistricting! But remember... they already have had five years to do that! Also, a 3-judge panel has ordered that a lawsuit on redistricting must go to trial.

The 2011 redistricting plan “fixed” our elections by creating “safe districts” for incumbents or allied replacements which helped them choose their voters before voters choose them. It reduced competition and diminished equal voting power and fair representation.

Keep the heat on regarding redistricting. Contact your legislators and let them know that redistricting is still a major concern of yours and will be a factor in who you vote for in August-November. Tell them you will be watching the 2017 legislative sessions!

And YES...VOTE...Many changes in voting and election laws have made it more difficult, more confusing, and more intimidating for some to vote... suppressing efforts for some citizens to be active participants.

Help neighbors with the voting process! Groups are offering help with registration, with obtaining a voter Photo ID, and with transportation. ALL citizens should participate in making our democracy stronger! Look for and use that help.

John Binder Plymouth


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