Wisconsin governor signs new legislative maps into law News
Lectrician2, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Wisconsin governor signs new legislative maps into law

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers signed 2023 Wisconsin Act 94 into law on Monday, remapping legislative districts and remedying some of the most gerrymandered maps in the US.

2023 Wisconsin Act 94 focuses on legislative redistricting and enacts maps that are responsive to the will of the people, avoid partisan bias, and increase the number of competitive legislative seats. The act directs the Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB) to draw redistricting plans and establishes a redistricting advisory commission to assist in the redistricting process.

Evers took to X (formerly Twitter) Monday to address the benefits of signing the new maps into law. He claims these maps are “fair, responsive, and reflect the will of the people.” Evers argues that the maps will allow each political party a fair opportunity to win legislative seats and better represent the preferences of the people. The legislature has previously used municipal wards to map legislative districts. Evers passionately spoke of the benefits of the new law, stating:

I will always try to do the right thing for our state. Wisconsinites want fair maps, and Wisconsinites deserve fair maps. So, today, I’m enacting fair maps for the great state of Wisconsin … When I promised I wanted fair maps—not maps that are better for one party or another—I damn well meant it. Wisconsin is not a red state or a blue state—we’re a purple state, and I believe our maps should reflect that basic fact.

Others joined Evers in celebration of the new law. State Representative Greta Neubauer praised the new law by saying:

Thanks to the hard work of countless people over many years, Wisconsin will no longer be among the most gerrymandered states in the nation. Today’s victory belongs to those advocates, voters, and people across the state who continued to believe that our democracy is worth fighting for and never gave up in the struggle for fair maps. This is the beginning of a new era in Wisconsin — where the will of the people will once again be the law of the land.

There were no legislative maps in place for the 2024 election after the Wisconsin Supreme Court previously ruled that Wisconsin’s legislative maps violated the state’s constitution. This influenced the Republican-led House in its decision to pass the act as it believed the court redistricting the state would have better benefitted the Democratic party. House Speaker Robin Vos addressed the matter:

Today, Governor Evers signed the most Republican-leaning maps out of all the Democrat- gerrymandered maps being considered by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. We sent him those maps, not because they are fair, but becuase the people of Wisconsin deserve certainty in state government.

The maps enacted Monday will take effect immediately, and Evers has requested that the Supreme Court of Wisconsin retain jurisdiction over the act.