Hearings are conducted virtually, via Zoom. Those wishing to provide oral and/or written input, or watch past recorded hearings, can find information at the following website: https://govstatus.egov.com/peoplesmaps/hearings-meetings.
Preparation assistance for residents wishing to give oral testimony is available virtually on Saturday, February 20th at 3 p.m. through registering at https://bit.ly/FM6thCD.
In January, 2020, Governor Tony Evers ended his State of the State Address with the announcement of an executive order that would create a nonpartisan redistricting commission called The People’s Maps and giving it the mission to “visit every congressional district, hear directly from folks across our state, and draw fair, impartial maps for the Legislature to take up next year.”
That year has passed and the People’s Maps Commission has been busy fulfilling its mission. After hearing directly from residents of six of the eight congressional districts in the state regarding the issue of redistricting since October, the People’s Maps Commission will soon be turning its attention to the 6th Congressional District, which includes Fond du Lac and Green Lake counties, for input from local citizens.
The issue of redistricting is a timely one in 2021. Every ten years a census of the US population is taken, as directed by the Constitution. Final census results are expected to be delivered to the federal and state governments in coming months. These updated population numbers form the basis of the process referred to as redistricting. In this process, the “maps” of governmental units are reevaluated to adjust for the new census information.
In so doing, the boundaries that define the governmental units themselves may be changed, or redrawn. As these maps carry with them many implications for voters and elections, the process by which redistricting decisions are made has come under increased scrutiny.
The 2011 redistricting process in Wisconsin culminated in years of costly lawsuits that carried the issue to the US Supreme Court in 2017. Legal arguments centered around the concept of partisan “gerrymandering” or the practice of manipulating map boundaries with the deliberate intention of establishing an unfair political advantage for one party over another.
If you want to better understand how gerrymandered voting districts work in Wisconsin, check out this article from the Journal Sentinel. While the article is dated, it is still relevant today.