Watchdog Says Election Shows The Power Of Gerrymandering

Nov 8, 2018

Wisconsin's capitol
Credit Wikimedia Commons ander107

Tuesday's election changed some of the state's top government posts from Republican to Democrat, but Jay Heck of Common Cause Wisconsin says the election also proved that the currently drawn legislative boundaries kept the status quo.

In 2011, majority Republicans redrew the legislative boundaries and now that plan is likely going to get U.S. Supreme Court attention as to whether the boundaries were gerrymandered, or drawn to favor one political party.

Heck says both chambers of the state legislature stayed nearly intact...

"...The composition of the Wisconsin legislature remained almost the same. The Republicans had a net gain of one state Senate seat. Even more shockingly, while Governor Walker and Attorney General Schimel were defeated, not a single incumbent Republican or Democrat member of the Assembly was defeated. Only one member of the Senate was defeated and that was a guy who was only in for four months..."

Heck says to him this shows clear evidence that the Congressional and state voting boundaries have been unfairly constructed. He says in the races where voting boundaries didn't apply, the results were very different...

"...More people voted for Democratic candidates for not only Governor and Attorney General but also for the legislature and also for Congress. And yet the composition of the Wisconsin legislature remains 64-35 Republican to Democrat in the state Assembly and it's now 19-14 in the state Senate, Republicans in control..."

Heck says Tony Evers will be Governor when the next redistricting is mandated and he thinks that will lead to a compromise in how the districts are drawn. Former legislators and others have asked for an Iowa-style impartial panel to draw up the boundaries.