MADISON, WI -- (Press Release) -- Gov. Tony Evers today, in a video message to Wisconsinites, vetoed legislation passed by the Wisconsin State Legislature that would effectively solidify existing, gerrymandered voting maps for the next decade in the state of Wisconsin. When Republicans introduced the maps, Gov. Evers slammed the maps as “gerrymandering 2.0,” calling on Republicans to go back to the drawing board and vowing to veto the bills if sent to the governor’s desk unchanged. After Republicans in the Legislature refused to amend their maps before passage, the governor acted on his promise today and vetoed Senate Bills 621 and 622.
The legislative and congressional maps drafted and passed by Republicans in the Legislature are largely based on the current maps Republicans drew a decade ago that have been called some of the most gerrymandered maps in the country. 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. All three maps prepared by Republicans in the Legislature received an “F” rating from the Princeton Gerrymandering Project citing “significant Republican advantage, advantages incumbents, and very uncompetitive relative to other maps that could have been drawn.”Wisconsinites overwhelmingly support nonpartisan redistricting. Fifty-six counties consisting of more than 80 percent of Wisconsin residents have passed referenda or resolutions supporting a nonpartisan redistricting process and fair maps. Additionally, according to polls conducted by Marquette University Law School, an overwhelming majority of voters support nonpartisan redistricting.
Gov. Evers has long advocated for nonpartisan redistricting and fair maps. In 2020, the governor signed Executive Order #66, creating the People’s Maps Commission, a nonpartisan redistricting commission comprised of nine commissioners selected by a panel of retired judges to represent each of Wisconsin’s eight congressional districts. The maps presented by the People’s Maps Commission were developed after a year-long process that involved multiple rounds of public input—receiving nearly 2,000 submissions, including from Wisconsinites representing 68 counties and 321 municipalities, as well as 18 leading redistricting experts—ensuring that Wisconsinites played an integral role in the map-drawing process. The Princeton Gerrymandering Project also awarded each of the final maps released by the People’s Maps Commission with an overall “A” rating, calling the maps “significantly better” than those proposed by Republicans and highlighting their increased partisan fairness.
The governor’s veto message for Senate Bill 621 and Senate Bill 622 is available here.