Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Redistricting Is In a Rush: Legislators Must Slow Down As Proposals May Pose Violations of Federal Law

The ACLU of Wisconsin today urged the Wisconsin legislature to slow down the rush to redraw state legislative districts so that affected communities have time to fully review and respond to the proposals. 

Federal law prohibits the drawing of districts that have the effect of diluting minority voting strength.  Determining whether a plan dilutes minority voting strength requires careful consideration of a number of factors and alternative plans.  That analysis cannot be completed on the timeline contemplated by the legislature. 

The important task of redrawing of district lines demands deliberation and public input. Rushing the plan through without thorough analysis creates the risk that an illegal plan will be adopted.

This Eau Claire Leader-Telegram editorial gets is right on why partisans shouldn't draw political maps. Critical editorials were published all over the state by the Appleton Post-Crescent (which had another critical editorial on how the process hurts municipalities), the Oshkosh Northwestern, the Green Bay Press-Gazette, the Beloit Daily News, the Marshfield News Herald, and the Cap Times.