Fighting for fair maps and ending gerrymandering

In a true democracy, elections reflect the will of the people. But when politicians are responsible for drawing voting district maps, our representatives are literally choosing their voters. Much like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse.

Every 10 years, in the year following the Census, state legislatures rearrange the boundaries of Congressional and legislative districts.

Redistricting is supposed to reflect changes in population and ensure that everyone is fairly represented. But by manipulating the lines, moving friendly voters into pockets of strength and breaking up areas where they and their allies typically run weakest, members of the majority party – Democratic or Republican – can have a big impact on who’ll represent you in the state capital in Madison and in Congress in Washington, DC.

Fortunately, in Wisconsin, Gov. Tony Evers signed into law much more fair state legislative voting maps on February 19, 2024 after the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional the gerrymandered maps majority Republicans put into effect beginning in 2011. Common Cause Wisconsin led in the fight for more than a dozen years against those unfair maps and strongly supported the Governor’s maps which were fair and did not favor Democrats or Republicans. They favored voters.

But these fairer maps now in place, while great, are a temporary solution to the problem.  Wisconsin needs a more permanent fix and we need to end partisan gerrymandering completely – before 2031.

Politicians in power shouldn’t be allowed to draw voting maps that benefit themselves. For years we have supported a solution that is already working in Iowa – a nonpartisan redistricting process that would create a fair system so that voters are choosing the politicians, instead of politicians choosing their voters. We are also exploring the possibility of amending Wisconsin’s Constitution in order to take redistricting out of the hands of elected legislators and entrust that process to a nonpartisan citizens commission.

No liberty is more fundamental than the right to freely choose our representatives through voting. When politicians manipulate voting maps to keep their own political party in power, the result is dysfunction, polarization, mistrust, cynicism, and public policies that don’t reflect the will of the people.

Common Cause Wisconsin is working to establish an independent redistricting process and create a nonpartisan system that ensures the lines are drawn fairly and districts represent the communities they serve.  Fair state legislative and congressional district maps are a lynchpin for representative government and democracy in our state and in the nation.

Election Day is when we get to have our say – we need to reform the rules so that every vote matters.

Join us in the fight for fair maps and help us build on the great success we achieved in February 2024!

Vos, Fitzgerald, Nygren & Darling: Wisconsin Taxpayers to Continue to Pay for Partisan Gerrymandering

On May 9th, 2019, the Republican Chairs of the Wisconsin Legislature's Joint Finance Committee announced they will take nonpartisan redistricting reform out of Gov. Tony Evers' 2019-2021 budget proposal.