Gerrymandering — political distortion of voting districts — is the topic of the first forum sponsored by the new local League of Women Voters. The event is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. June 1 at the Dunn County Judicial Center.
Wisconsin’s redistricting after the 2010 census was last winter ruled unconstitutionally gerrymandered and a federal court ordered the state to redraw legislative districts by Nov. 1, 2017. Few voters understand what redistricting and gerrymandering means. Even fewer know how gerrymandering dilutes their voice as citizens.
The League of Women Voters of the Greater Chippewa Valley in its forum will host two speakers to explain redistricting and the gerrymandering. Jay Heck, executive director of Wisconsin Common Cause, and Andrea Kaminski, executive director of Wisconsin League of Women Voters, will present background, answer questions and lead a discussion on political redistricting.
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Politicians from some states manipulate the system to benefit their party based on voting or racial patterns; that’s gerrymandering. Other states, such as Iowa, have developed a simple, non-partisan process. Both Democrats and Republicans are guilty. The process used may mean that your vote does not even count.
Several states have filed lawsuits to require that legislators make redistricting less partisan and fairer. The lawsuit contesting 2011 Wisconsin’s redistricting attracted national attention when the United States District Court ruled current legislative districts unconstitutional and required the state of Wisconsin to redraw voting districts. That decision has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Whether the Supreme Court will take the case is still undecided.
Join in this nonpartisan discussion at the Justice Center, 615 Stokke Parkway, Menomonie. For more information about the League of Women Voters, check out the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/leagueofwomenvotersgcv/