Our Democratic Party friends in Marquette County are planning a series of events and activities prior to the county’s April 7 referendum seeking support for nonpartisan redistricting.

The group, part of the four-county coalition that includes Green Lake, Adams, Waushara and Marquette Counties, was successful last month getting the Marquette County Board of Supervisors to put the issue on the ballot in Marquette County. 

Referendum Ballot Question

The referendum question reads as follows:

Should the County request that the Wisconsin Legislature create a nonpartisan procedure for the preparation of legislative and congressional redistricting plans ending the practice of gerrymandering in Wisconsin?

____ Yes  ____ No

The April 7 statewide election is both a presidential primary and a general election for the Wisconsin State Supreme Court. 

Community Discussions

In addition, to help inform Marquette County residents about the need for nonpartisan redistricting, the Marquette County Dems have scheduled two community discussions. 

The first, on Wednesday, March 4, features Matt Rothschild, the executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. The meeting, at the Marquette County Community Building, 480 Underwood Ave., Montello, starts at 6 p.m., and is open to the public.

The second, on Monday, March 30, in Westfield, features Jacy Heck, executive director of Common Cause Wisconsin. It will be held at the Ethel Everhard Public Library, 117 E. 3rd Street, starting at 6 p.m. As with the first meeting, it is also open to the public.

Both the Democracy Project and Common Cause Wisconsin have been leaders in the growing nationwide movement to take redistricting out of the hands of politicians, who have in the past created districts that favored their party. 

In addition, members of the Marquette and Green Lake County Democratic Parties are involved, as individuals, in another organization, Fair Maps Midstate, which is attempting to coordinate the efforts of multiple organizations, all working to ensure fair maps in Wisconsin. 

Essay Content

The Marquette County Dems and the Fair Maps Midstate group are also sponsoring an essay contest for students in the Montello and Westfield Public Schools. Students are being asked to write an essay expressing reasons why they would vote yes or no on the question being asked on the referendum ballot on April 7 about the way we redistrict Wisconsin Assembly and Senate voting districts and the U.S. Congressional Districts. Opinions must be based on research and include citations.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the top two essays from each school district.