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Politics & Government

Lincoln Co. Referendum Question Centers On Fair Voting Boundaries

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The November 6 ballot will have a number of referendums from mining to school financing to marijuana law changes. Another is in Lincoln county, where voters will decide whether they want fairer voting maps in Wisconsin instead of voting areas drawn by the majority political party.

The U.S. Supreme Court is likely to hear a challenge of Wisconsin's voting boundaries drawn up by Republicans in 2011. Supporters of a change say the districts were gerrymandered, or drawn up the purpose of helping one political party.

League of Women Voters of the Northwoods President Dorothy Skye said an initial push to the high court was turned back on a procedural matter, but the court will be hearing the case in the spring.

Monday, October 29 is a meeting in Merrill sponsored by the League. Dorothy Skye says other states have done it so as not to favor any political party or demographic. 40 of the state's 72 counties have asked for fairer voting maps.

"...There are several counties that have passed a referendum, though more certainly can. That is another way of exerting public opinion, documenting public opinion, exertring pressure on lawmakers to get this passed..."

Among the speakers will be Bill Whitford, the named plaintiff if the Supreme Court case, Matt Rothschild, President of Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a non-partisan watchdog group, Hans Breitenmoser of the Lincoln County Board who has worked to move the measure forward along with Dorothy Skye on why the League is involved in this.

Skye says a bill has been lingering in the legislature to change how the maps are drawn, but it hasn't been worked on. Skye says both parties have benefited from gerrymandering.

The meeting is next Monday at 5:30 p.m. at T.B. Scott Free Libary in Merrill. More information is available at the League of Women Voters of the Northwoods website.

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