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Wisconsin Redistricting Statutes (Unofficial)

4.001
4.001 Legislative redistricting; equal population.
4.001(1)
(1) Based on the certified official results of the 1980 census of population of Wisconsin, as received by this state from the U.S. bureau of the census on March 23, 1981, under P.L. 94-171, the state is divided into 33 senate districts each composed of 3 assembly districts. Each senate district shall be entitled to elect one member of the senate. Each assembly district shall be entitled to elect one representative to the assembly.

4.001(2)
(2)
All senate districts, and all assembly districts, are as equal in the number of inhabitants as practicable within the guidelines further set forth in this section. Because the certified total number of inhabitants of this state on the 1980 census date was 4,705,521, each of the 33 senate districts contains approximately 142,592 inhabitants and each of the 99 assembly districts contains approximately 47,531 inhabitants.

4.001(3)
(3) In redistricting the state based on the 1980 census of population, the legislature has assigned the highest priority to achieving the constitutionally mandated goal of precise population equality among the districts, resulting in an assembly deviation range of 1.72 percent (high assembly district plus 0.87 percent, low assembly district minus 0.85 percent) and a senate deviation range of 1.05 percent (high senate district plus 0.38 percent, low senate district minus 0.67 percent). To the very limited extent that precise population equality is unattainable, ss. 4.009 and 4.01 to 4.99 reflect a good faith effort to apportion the legislature giving due consideration to the need for contiguity and compactness of area, the maintenance of the integrity of political subdivisions and of communities of interest, and competitive legislative districts. Island territory (territory belonging to a city, town or village but not contiguous to the main part thereof) has been treated as a contiguous part of its municipality.

4.001(4)
(4) The enactment of the redistricting based on the 1980 census of population reflects the legislature's recognition of its responsibility under the constitution to district anew the senate and assembly after every decennial federal census of population. When the legislature and governor did not fulfill that responsibility in 1982, a federal district court promulgated legislative districts to "be effective for the 1982 legislative elections and thereafter until such time as a valid constitutional redistricting plan is enacted into law". In enacting ss. 4.009 and 4.01 to 4.99, the legislature has worked from the court plan and, consistent with the policy of the state expressed in sub. (3), has improved upon it. The resulting senate and assembly districts closely approximate the goal of precise population equality among districts, appropriately divide political subdivisions, and create the lowest population deviation in the history of legislative redistricting in this state.

4.001(5)
(5)
In enacting ss. 4.009 and 4.01 to 4.99, the legislature and its members recognize the obligation imposed by their constitutional oath of office to represent the interests of the citizens who elected them and all of the other citizens of the state of Wisconsin. The legislative districts based on the 1980 census of population reflects the legislature's intent to enact a plan of reapportionment that encourages competitive elections, in order to promote a healthy democratic process which accurately reflects the will of the citizens of the state of Wisconsin.

4.001 - ANNOT.
NOTE: The apportionment plan of legislative districts enacted in 1983 Wis. Act 29 was held unconstitutional in Prosser et al. v. Elections Board et al., 793 F Supp. 859 (W.D. Wis. 1992). The 3-judge federal panel created a judicial plan of apportionment for all elections held after June 2, 1992. The plan, which is printed following s. 4.005, is based on the 1990 federal census of population of Wisconsin. Because the certified statewide number of inhabitants was 4,891,769, each of the 33 senate districts contains approximately 148,235 inhabitants and each of the 99 assembly districts contains approximately 49,412 inhabitants.

4.002
4.002
Municipal wards.
4.002(1)
(1) Definition. Except as further provided in this section, in this chapter "ward" means the municipal wards created under s. 5.15 based on the results of the 1980 federal census of population and in effect on January 1, 1982.

4.002(2)
(2) Milwaukee, city of. Any reference to a ward of the city of Milwaukee means the wards created by ordinance 142 dated November 17, 1981 (file number 80-1517-D), as affected by the elections commission adjustments of August 1982.

4.002(3)
(3) Oshkosh, city of. Ward 42 of the city of Oshkosh includes the annexation from the town of Algoma.

4.002 - ANNOT.
History: 1983 a 29.

4.002 - ANNOT.
NOTE: The apportionment plan of legislative districts enacted in 1983 Wis. Act 29 was held unconstitutional in Prosser et al. v. Elections Board et al., 793 F Supp. 859 (W.D. Wis. 1992). The 3-judge federal panel created a judicial plan of apportionment for all elections held after June 2, 1992. The plan, which is printed following s. 4.005, is based on the 1990 federal census of population of Wisconsin. The plan used wards created under s. 5.15 based on the results of the 1990 census, within the municipal boundaries in effect on August 1, 1991.

4.003
4.003 Description of boundaries. Wherever in this chapter territory is described by geographic boundaries, the following conventions are used:

4.003(1)
(1) Each bound continues to the intersection with the bound next named, or to the intersection with a straight-line extension of such bound.

4.003(2)
(2) If the bound is a street, it follows the centerline of such street or the centerline of such street extended.

4.003(3)
(3) If the bound is a railroad right-of-way, it follows the centerline of such railroad right-of-way.

4.003(4)
(4) If the bound is a river or stream, it follows the center of the main channel of such river or stream.

4.003(5)
(5)If the bound follows a municipal boundary, it coincides with such boundary.

4.003 - ANNOT.
History: 1983 a. 29.

4.004
4.004 Elections to the legislature. On or after July 20, 1983, any special election to the legislature called to fill a vacancy for the balance of an unexpired term, any election to recall a member of the legislature, and any regular election to the legislature, shall be from the districts as described in ss. 4.009 and 4.01 to 4.99.

4.004 - ANNOT.
History1983 a 29.

4.004 - ANNOT.
NOTE: The apportionment plan of legislative districts enacted in 1983 Wis. Act 29 was held unconstitutional in Prosser et al. v. Elections Board et al., 793 F Supp. 859 (W.D. Wis. 1992). The 3-judge federal panel created a judicial plan of apportionment for all elections held after June 2, 1992. The plan is printed following s. 4.005.

4.005
Territory omitted from legislative redistricting.
4.005(1)
(1) In case any town, village or ward in existence on the effective date of a legislative redistricting act has not been included in any assembly district, such town, village or ward shall be a part of the assembly district by which it is surrounded or, if it falls on the boundary between 2 or more districts, of the adjacent assembly district having the lowest population according to the federal census upon which the redistricting act is based.

4.005(2)
(2) The boundaries of legislative districts established by this chapter are not altered by any change in the county boundaries under ch. 2, by the creation of any town, village, city or ward or by any municipal annexation, consolidation or detachment.

4.005 - ANNOT.
History:1983 a. 29.

JUDICIAL PLAN

The apportionment plan of legislative districts enacted in 1983 Wis. Act 29 was held unconstitutional in Prosser et al. v. Elections Board et al., Civil Action 92-C-0078-C (W.D. Wis. 1992). The 3-judge federal panel created the following judicial plan of apportionment for all elections held after June 2, 1992:

SENATE DISTRICTS

Chapter 4 - Judicial Apportionment Plan - First Senate District
First senate district. The combination of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd assembly districts.

Chapter 4 - Judicial Apportionment Plan - First Senate District
Second senate district. The combination of the 4th, 5th and 6th assembly districts.

62.08
Alteration of aldermanic districts.
62.08(1)
(1) Within 60 days after the wards have been readjusted under s. 5.15 (1) and (2) the common council of every city, including any city of the first class, shall redistrict the boundaries of its aldermanic districts, by an ordinance introduced at a regular meeting of the council, published as a class 2 notice, under  ch. 985, and thereafter adopted by a majority vote of all the members of the council, so that all aldermanic districts are as compact in area as possible and contain, as nearly as practicable by combining contiguous whole wards, an equal number of inhabitants according to the most recent decennial federal census of population.

62.08(2)
(2) If territory becomes a part of any city after adoption of the ordinance under sub. (1), the limitations of s. 5.15 relating to population or area do not apply to the creation of new wards in the attached territory, or to the addition of the territory to an existing ward, but no ward line adjustment may cross the boundary of an assembly district.

62.08(3) Whenever the boundaries of aldermanic districts are altered, or new aldermanic districts created, every aldermanic district or ward officer residing within the territory of a new or altered aldermanic district shall hold the same respective office therein for the remainder of the officer's term; and all other vacancies shall be filled as provided by law for the filling of such vacancies.

62.08(4)
(4) The common council of any city may, by a two-thirds vote of all its members but not more frequently than once in 2 years, increase or decrease the number of aldermanic districts or the number of members of the city council, and in that case shall redistrict, readjust and change the boundaries of aldermanic districts, so that they are as nearly equal in population according to the most recent city-wide federal census as practicable by combining contiguous whole wards. In redistricting such cities the original numbers of the aldermanic districts in their geographic outlines shall as far as possible be retained, and the aldermanic districts so created and those the boundaries of which are changed shall be in as compact form as possible.

62.08(5)
(5) If a city fails to comply with sub. (1), any elector of the city may submit to the circuit court for any county in which the city is located within 14 days from the expiration of the 60-day period under sub. (1) a proposed plan for creation of aldermanic districts in compliance with this section. If the court finds that the existing division of the city into aldermanic districts fails to comply with this section, it shall review the plan submitted by the petitioner and after reasonable notice to the city may promulgate the plan, or any other plan in compliance with this section, as a temporary aldermanic district plan until superseded by a districting plan adopted by the council in compliance with this section.

62.08 - ANNOT.
History: 1971 c. 304, 336; 1973 c. 12; 1979 c. 260; 1981 c. 4; 1985 a. 304; 1991 a. 316.

62.09
62.09 Officers.
62.09(1)
(1) Enumeration and change.
62.09(1)(a)
(a) The officers shall be a mayor, treasurer, clerk, comptroller, attorney, engineer, one or more assessors unless the city is assessed by a county assessor under s. 70.99, one or more constables as determined by the common council, a local health officer, as defined in s. 250.01 (5), or local board of health, as defined in s. 250.01 (3), street commissioner, board of police and fire commissioners except in cities where not applicable, chief of police, chief of the fire department, board of public works, 2 alderpersons from each aldermanic district, and such other officers or boards as are created by law or by the council. If one alderperson from each aldermanic district is provided under s. 66.018 (1), the council may, by ordinance adopted by a two-thirds vote of all its members and approved by the electors at a general or special election, provide that there shall be 2 alderpersons from each aldermanic district.

62.09(1)(b)
(b) The council, by a two-thirds vote, may dispense with the offices of street commissioner, engineer, comptroller, constable and board of public works, and provide that the duties thereof be performed by other officers or board, by the council or a committee thereof. The council may, by charter ordinance, adopted pursuant to s. 66.01, provide that there shall be one alderperson from each aldermanic district. Any office dispensed with under this paragraph may be recreated in like manner, and any office created under this section may be dispensed with in like manner.

62.09(1)(c)
(c) A corporation or an independent contractor may be appointed as the city assessor. The corporation or independent contractor so appointed shall designate the person responsible for the assessment. The designee shall file the official oath under s. 19.01, and sign the affidavit of the assessor attached to the assessment roll under s. 70.49. No person may be designated by any corporation or independent contractor unless he or she has been granted the appropriate certification under s. 73.09. For purposes of this subsection, "independent contractor" means a person who either is under contract to furnish appraisal and assessment services or is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, business or profession in which the services are offered to the general public.

62.09(1)(d)
(d) No person may assume the office of city assessor unless certified by the department of revenue under s. 73.09 as qualified to perform the functions of the office of assessor. If a person who has not been so certified is elected to the office, the office shall be vacant and the appointing authority shall fill the vacancy from a list of persons so certified by the department of revenue.

62.09(1)(e)
(e) The office of constable is abolished in 1st class cities. The duties of the constable in such cities shall be performed by the sheriff of the county in which the city is located.

62.09(2)
(2) Eligibility
62.09(2)(a)
(a) No person shall be elected by the people to a city office who is not at the time of election a citizen of the United States and of this state, and an elector of the city, and in case of an aldermanic district office, of the aldermanic district, and actually residing therein.

62.09(2)(d)
(d) An appointee by the mayor requiring to be confirmed by the council who shall be rejected by the council shall be ineligible for appointment to the same office for one year thereafter.

62.09(3)
(3) Manner of choosing.
62.09(3)(a)
(a) The mayor and alderpersons shall be elected by the voters.

62.09(3)(b)
(b) The other officers except as provided in s. 62.13 shall be selected by one of the following methods:

62.09(3)(b)1.
1. Appointment by the mayor.

62.09(3)(b)2.
2. Appointment by the mayor subject to confirmation by the council.

62.09(3)(b)3.
3. Appointment by the council.

62.09(3)(b)4.
4. Election by the voters.

62.09(3)(b)5.
5. Selection under any of the above methods, the selection to be made from an eligible list established under s. 66.19

62.09(3)(b)6.
6. Such other officers shall continue to be selected in the manner prevailing on April 15, 1939, provided one of the above plans was in force on that date. Such method shall be continued until changed in the manner provided by s. 66.01.

62.09(3)(c)
(c) Any city may also proceed pursuant to s. 66.01 to consolidate any such other office or offices.

62.09(3)(d)
(d) Whenever a city is newly created the officers other than those specified by par. (a) shall be appointed by the mayor until provided otherwise pursuant to par. (b).

62.09(3)(e)
(e) Appointments by the mayor shall be subject to confirmation by the council unless otherwise provided by law.

62.09(4)
Qualifying.

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