Hansen renews Call for Passage of Non-Partisan Re-Districting Bill

Research shows Wisconsin most gerrymandered state in the country

 (Madison)—Responding to recent research showing Wisconsin to be the most gerrymandered state in the nation State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) called on the Legislature to pass his non-partisan re-districting bill to restore fairness in Wisconsin elections.

 “Recently conducted research shows beyond a doubt that Wisconsin’s system for drawing legislative district lines is broken beyond repair,” said Hansen.  “Regardless of which party is responsible gerrymandering districts to thwart the will of the voters is counter to fair elections and a cancer on our democracy.”

 In 2011 the Republicans assumed total control of state government and set in motion a partisan re-districting process which was designed to protect their members in the State Assembly and Senate and preserve their majorities in both houses for years to come regardless of the overall popular statewide vote.

 An example of the advantage Republicans gave themselves is reflected in the 2012 election results in which Democrats received 53.5% of the vote statewide but less than 40% of the seats in the State Assembly.

 “Gerrymandering has existed for decades, but the kind that has occurred in Wisconsin under the republican majority is gerrymandering on steroids.  It has corrupted our elections and state policy as the Governor and legislative Republicans have pursued an agenda that is far outside the mainstream with no fear of being held accountable at the ballot box.”

 The study conducted by Professor Simon Jackman of Stanford University is being used to bolster nationwide challenges to partisan re-districting by both parties shows that Wisconsin’s districts are gerrymandered significantly more than states like Illinois and Texas—states that are commonly viewed has having long histories of corruption in both their elections and their governments.  On the other side, Democrats in Rhode Island have gerrymandered their state’s legislative districts to freeze out the voices of Republican voters.

 “In a democracy “one person-one vote” is supposed to matter.  But here in Wisconsin there are thousands of voters whose voices have been frozen out of the ballot box and in turn their government because the elections have been rigged to the point their legislative votes don’t matter.  It is time to begin the process of restoring people’s faith in their government and it starts with passing legislation to end partisan election rigging.”

Link to re-districting study: http://static1.squarespace.com/static/559c1a7be4b0a2650c6c39b3/t/559d3df7e4b041328d05ee45/1436368375316/Exhibit+3.pdf