Wisconsin governor issues executive order creating advisory redistricting commission

February 2020 - Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers (D) signed an executive order Jan. 27 creating an advisory redistricting commission that will prepare congressional and state legislative district maps for consideration by the state legislature in the coming redistricting cycle. The legislature is responsible for drafting and adopting district maps—both of which are subject to gubernatorial veto—and is not required to accept the commission's recommendations. Wisconsin is one of 37 states where the state legislature is responsible for redistricting.

Evers’ order mandated that members of the commission come from each of the state's congressional districts and barred elected, public, and political party officials and lobbyists from serving as commissioners. The order specified neither the number of commissioners nor the manner of appointment.

According to the order, the maps proposed by the commission “shall, whenever possible:

    - Be free from partisan bias and partisan advantage;
    - Avoid diluting votes, including through the practices of 'packing' or 'cracking’;
    - Be compact and contiguous;
    - Avoid splitting wards and municipalities;
    - Retain the core population in each district;
    - Maintain traditional communities of interest; and
    - Prevent voter disenfranchisement"

Upon completion of the 2020 census, congressional seats will be reapportioned to the states based on population. Complete data sets will be delivered to the states in early 2021, at which time they will redraw their congressional and state legislative district maps. Wisconsin is expected to neither gain nor lose congressional seats in the next apportionment.


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