Gov. Evers vetoes redistricting maps backed by state Republicans

Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers followed through Thursday on his promise to veto the Republican-drawn redistricting plans, calling the maps "gerrymandering 2.0."

Evers, who is up for reelection next year, had said he would not sign the bills which only strengthen GOP majorities under maps that Republicans enacted a decade ago.

There are lawsuits pending in both the Wisconsin Supreme Court and federal court. Now that Evers has vetoed the maps, attention will turn to the courts where the maps for the next decade ultimately will be determined.

Evers, in a video message explaining his veto, faulted the latest maps for sticking closely to the lines that have been in place for the past decade. Evers and Democrats had wanted the maps to be drawn from scratch.

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"I promised I’d never sign gerrymandered maps that came to my desk, and I’m delivering on that promise today," Evers said.

Republicans do not have enough votes to override the veto without support from Democrats. The Legislature approved the maps last week without a single Democratic vote in support.

Reaction

Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Ben Wikler

"With Governor Evers’s veto, the Republican attempt to re-gerrymander our state and thwart our democracy has slammed into a brick wall. Governor Tony Evers has demonstrated once more that he is the last line of defense against anti-democratic attacks. Republican legislators in Wisconsin have lost sight of how a democracy works — voters are supposed to choose their elected officials, not the other way around. The process of drawing legislative maps should be fair, transparent, and nonpartisan, but as we’ve seen, Republicans will stop at nothing to hold onto power. 

"We’re still paying the price for last decade’s rigged Republican maps, which were drawn behind closed doors by GOP politicians without any public input. Ever since the people of Wisconsin elected Governor Eversin 2018, Republican legislators have used their gerrymandered majorities to block and obstruct the people’s agenda — and at times have not even shown up to their jobs as legislators.

"A decade of life in Wisconsin under Republican gerrymandering has made clear that it’s time that Wisconsin receives the fair maps it deserves. Gov. Evers vetoed these bills because he is committed to fair maps that are crafted transparently — not maps created by political insiders and lobbyists that allow Republicans to maintain their gerrymandered grip on Wisconsin."

State Rep. Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh)

"I applaud Governor Evers for vetoing legislative Republicans’ Gerrymander 2.0. For the last decade, our state has suffered the damaging effects of Republicans’ gerrymandered 2011 maps. The maps passed by legislative Republicans last week would make Wisconsin’s gerrymander even worse.

"By vetoing Republicans’ rigged maps, Gov. Evers is putting the people of Wisconsin ahead of partisan politics. Wisconsinites deserve a functioning democracy, and that starts with ensuring the people can choose their elected officials and hold them accountable."

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