Wisconsin Democratic Governor Tony Evers has vetoed a set of district lines for the state’s legislative and Congressional districts that were approved by the Republican majorities in the state legislature without a single Democrat in favor. As has been the case in other states where Republican state officials have pushed through redistricting plans, the maps as passed by the legislature were corrupt — as summarized by a press release from Evers’s office, the “new maps vetoed today, which have been described as even more gerrymandered than the existing maps, all but ensure Republicans will preserve their undemocratic majorities in the Legislature while increasing Republicans’ chances of disproportionately winning six of Wisconsin’s eight congressional districts.”
Evers himself commented as follows:
‘As other politicians in this state abuse their power to try and predetermine our elections, as they try to create controversy where there is none, as they try to discredit the hard work of our election administrators and poll workers who helped ensure we had a free, fair, and secure election last November, I will not. I will protect the right of every eligible voter to cast their ballot. I will defend our democracy, our elections, and the people who do this work every day. And I will fight for nonpartisan redistricting to be the law of the land as long as I’m governor.’
Now, it’ll be up to courts to determine the nature of legislative district maps in Wisconsin for coming years, with both state courts and federal courts currently dealing with litigation related to the map-making process in the state. Similar challenges have been brought against GOP gerrymandering elsewhere, such as in Alabama, where a Congressional district map approved by state authorities put Black residents in the majority in a single district, despite the fact that they comprise over one-fourth of the state’s population — and the state has seven Congressional districts overall. In Texas, meanwhile, Republican state officials drew two new Congressional districts to have white majorities, despite the fact that non-white residents were responsible for the overwhelming majority of the population growth that gave the state those new districts. Gerrymandering — meaning the political manipulation of the district-drawing process — is a consistent problem.