Fair Price for Fair Maps

On Monday, consultants hired by the Wisconsin Supreme Court submitted bills totaling about $128,000 for advice and analysis of state legislative voting maps submitted to the court in January after the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional, partisan gerrymandered state voting maps passed by the Wisconsin Legislature during 2021-22 and imposed on Wisconsin by the previous Wisconsin Supreme Court majority.

Of the $128,000 to be paid to the consultants, about half that amount – $64,000 will come from Wisconsin taxpayers. The other half will be paid for by private funds.

The $64,000 being shouldered by taxpayers for fair, constitutional state legislative district maps stands in stark contrast to the more than $3 million taxpayers were forced to pay for to devise and defend for 13 years among the most secretive, unfair, uncompetitive, unconstitutional and most partisan gerrymandered voting maps enacted into law in the nation, first in 2011 and then again during 2021-22.

Among the maps submitted to the Wisconsin Supreme Court in January that the consultants judged to be much fairer and more constitutional than the voting maps currently in place, are the maps submitted by Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers. Those maps were passed by the Wisconsin Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Evers on February 19th and will be in place for the 2024 elections.

Governor Evers and the Wisconsin Legislature, prompted by the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s landmark December 22nd decision striking down the current state legislative voting maps, have come together in achieving a significant victory for the voters of Wisconsin and at a fraction of the financial cost to taxpayers that 13 years of unfair partisan gerrymandering has cost them.

“The savings to be realized by the end of unfair voting maps is just the icing on the cake for this new era of fairer and more representative elections that the recent enactment of new maps has set in motion,” said Common Cause Wisconsin Board member and former State Senate Majority Leader Tim Cullen of Janesville. “Wisconsin taxpayers paid over $3 million for gerrymandered maps which greatly decreased the value their vote in 2011 and then again in 2021-22, but only $64,000 to help restore the value of their vote. That’s real value and progress!” Cullen, a longtime leader and advocate for fair voting maps, added.