Wisconsin enacts new state legislative districts

Wisconsin enacted new state legislative districts on March 3, 2022, when the Wisconsin Supreme Court approved legislative proposals submitted by Gov. Tony Evers (D). The maps will take effect for Wisconsin’s 2022 state legislative elections.

Evers vetoed legislative district proposals from Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R) and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) on Nov. 18. The Senate had approved the maps 21-12 along party lines on Oct. 20, with all Republicans in the chamber voting for the proposal and all Democrats voting against it. The House passed the maps on Nov. 11 by a 60-38 party-line vote.

After Evers’ veto, the Wisconsin Supreme Court assumed control of the drafting process, as the court had agreed in September to decide new districts if the legislature and governor failed to do so. The court announced on Nov. 30 it would seek to make as few changes as possible to the current legislative and congressional maps adopted in 2011. Evers submitted the now-approved legislative district maps to the supreme court on Dec. 15.

Evers’ office released a statement saying the enacted maps “are significantly less gerrymandered than the state’s current maps and the maps proposed by the Legislature. The governor’s maps have more competitive districts, with two competitive congressional districts, three Senate districts, and eight Assembly districts, which are all highly competitive. By contrast, the maps proposed by the Legislature have only one competitive congressional district, one competitive Senate district, and three competitive Assembly districts.”

LeMahieu said the maps were drawn without public input: “Bipartisan supermajorities rejected the governor’s People’s Maps Commission (PMC) maps, the PMC failed. Now Governor Evers has abandoned his campaign rhetoric promising for independently-drawn maps to rapidly and secretly draw his own rigged maps without public input. The hypocrisy of the governor is impossible to ignore.”

As of March 3, 39 states have adopted legislative district maps for both chambers, and one state has adopted maps that have not yet gone into effect. The state supreme court in one state has overturned previously enacted maps, and nine states have not yet adopted legislative redistricting plans after the 2020 census. As of March 3, 2012, 43 states had enacted legislative redistricting plans after the 2010 census.

Nationwide, states have completed legislative redistricting for 1,655 of 1,972 state Senate seats (83.9%) and 3,884 of 5,411 state House seats (71.8%).

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