On April 15, 2022, the Wisconsin Supreme Court, in Johnson v. Wisconsin Elections Commission, adopted state legislative district maps drawn by the Wisconsin Legislature after the United States Supreme Court, in Wisconsin Legislature, et al. v. Wisconsin Elections Commission, et al. and Glenn Grothman et al. v. Wisconsin Elections Commission et al., reversed the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision with regard to state legislative districts.
The United States Supreme Court left in place the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision with regard to Congressional districts, and the Wisconsin Elections Commission implemented the congressional maps in the statewide voter registration system, WisVote, on April 14, to help facilitate nomination paper circulation set to start on April 15.
Following the Wisconsin Supreme Court decision in Johnson, the WEC received detailed map data from the Legislative Technology Services Bureau so it can begin to implement the new state legislative maps. Barring any further court challenge, the state legislative maps approved by the Wisconsin Supreme Court are the maps that will be used for the 2022 election cycle and on which the circulation of nomination papers, due June 1, will be based.
It will take time to review, implement and validate those maps in WisVote, the statewide voter registration system. While there is no deadline associated with completing implementation, the WEC will finish implementing legislative district data as soon as possible while maintaining data quality and accuracy. During this time, localities will also be completing their statutorily required obligation to amend ward boundaries that do not align with the selected state legislative maps.
April 15, 2022, was the first day on which candidates under Wisconsin law could begin to circulate nomination papers.
For candidates who want immediate information about their legislative districts, they may consider checking with the LTSB, however, this data may not provide the level of detail that will be available once the WEC fully implements the map data into WisVote. The WEC will assign updated district information to wards and addresses as part of the implementation process to allow voters to search which district they live in and who their representatives are. Assigning districts to wards and addresses also allows candidates to search which addresses are located within their district, and helps ensure that voters receive the proper ballot version for their address.
The state Assembly and Senate maps drawn by the Legislature and selected by the Wisconsin Supreme Court can be found here:
There is currently no stay preventing candidates from circulating nomination papers. However, candidates may want to consult with their own counsel if they plan to do so before detailed legislative district data is implemented and available within WisVote.
The selected state Assembly and Senate maps will inevitably split some existing wards. Municipalities and counties, as they did during the implementation of the congressional maps, will need to meet to rename and approve new ward lines and names for the newly split wards as soon as possible. WEC will be in contact with municipalities and counties who need to amend their wards and provide them with detailed instructions on what needs to be done.