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Friday, February 23, 2024
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While an independent group will draw a set of congressional maps to propose to the Wisconsin legislature, Republican leaders have already stated they won’t support the maps — which could lead to a court battle. 

Assembly Republicans pass proposed legislative maps. Evers will veto.

The Assembly passed Republican maps approved by the Senate on Tuesday, which made slight changes to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ proposed maps.

After hours of closed-door deliberations, the Wisconsin Assembly passed new legislative maps Wednesday that are all but certain to die under Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ veto pen.

Assembly lawmakers passed the legislative maps in a 63-35 vote, with all Republicans for and all Democrats against. The maps were approved by the Senate Tuesday as part of a last-ditch GOP effort to avoid having new legislative maps drawn in state courts. 

The maps mirror a proposal Evers submitted earlier this month, but with one key difference: the revised GOP proposal prevents more incumbent legislators from being placed in the same district, a move Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said would “disenfranchise fewer people.” 

That didn’t sit well with Evers, who promised to veto the maps.

“No, I won’t sign it,” Evers told reporters Wednesday in Wausau. “The only one I will sign is my maps, and those are not my maps.” 

Vos said during a press conference Wednesday that Republicans tried to make “miniscule changes to un-gerrymander Evers’ maps.” 

“We have met [the Democrats] 99% of the way on the map they asked for,” Vos said. “What we're doing today is attempting to make very small fixes to fix the most egregious parts of the partisan gerrymander.”

Vos said Republicans have offered “a very reasonable position” to Democrats and urged them to keep the maps out of the courts. 

Assembly Minority Leader Greta Neubauer, D-Racine, said in a statement Wednesday the proposal prioritizes Republicans’ “own positions over the people of Wisconsin.”

“Legislative Republicans’ political games have gone on for far too long,” Neubauer said. “By drawing maps to intentionally protect their own incumbents, they are continuing their decade-long trend of gerrymandering themselves into an illegitimate majority.”

The Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned the state’s current Republican-drawn legislative maps last month. The court’s 4-3 ruling required new maps to be redrawn for the 2024 election and found the current maps unconstitutional on the basis that some districts lacked contiguity, meaning parts of some districts did not touch.

The maps must be in place by March 15, before the April 2 presidential primary election. Senate seats in odd years will remain in place until their current term ends in 2026.

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The court said it would step in to ensure new maps are adopted in time for the primary election if Evers and the Republican-controlled Legislature fail to pass new maps.

Two outside consultants will review all map submissions and report back to the court by Feb. 1. If they find none of the maps satisfactory, the consultants may submit their own maps or recommend changes. 

This is a developing story.

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Anna Kleiber

Anna Kleiber is an arts editor for The Daily Cardinal. She also reports on state politics and campus news. Follow her on Twitter at @annakleiber03.


Francesca Pica

Francesca Pica is the city news editor emeritus for The Daily Cardinal. She has covered multiple municipal elections and is a leading reporter on Madison labor issues. Additionally, she served as a summer intern for The Capital Times and currently serves as a WisPolitics intern. 

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