Diana Lawrence for State Assembly in Wisconsin District 56

Gerrymandering

Wisconsin is a gerrymandered state, designed to minimize your participation in democracy. I will work to represent you and to enhance your participation in democracy.

Look at the irregular shape of our district. Why is it shaped like this?

Assembly District 56 was drawn with the intent of setting a political bias for electing Republicans. That's called gerrymandering. Many of the districts in Wisconsin have been intentionally designed to favor one political party. Republicans have done this to Wisconsin. Democrats share some blame in past decades, and for allowing this to continue to happen.

Wisconsin Republicans have rigged our democracy in their favor with gerrymandered districts that allow representatives to choose their voters, instead of the other way around. I will do my best to make sure future districts boundries are free of this bias.

Click on the map and zoom in to see street-level detail. Look at the shape of the district and the uneven edges caused by carving off voters into districts that favor Republican candidates. Gerrymandering is especially obvious in Appleton.

Most people want gerrymandering to stop. But, eliminating bias is difficult. How can this be done? This is not a simple task. If elected, I will pay attention to good ideas. But here are some problems I'm aware of.

How to fix the problem? It's complicated, but it begins by removing the power from the majority ruling party. It's not as simple as people want to think: "Just have a computer do it". There needs to be an algorithm for the computer, and that has the potential to be very biased. We need to understand, as citizens and legislators, what the algorithm is. We need it to be politically unbiased.

We could say that since the state votes pretty evenly in statewide elections (President, Senator) that 50% of local legislative districts should lean to each party. But that's a bit gerrymandered in itself. And there are an odd number of Senate and Assembly districts.

We could draw each district so that it is neutral. But that might be weird in parts of the state that naturally lean one way or the other.

We could draw districts so that they are as small and compact as possible, with borders as smooth as possible. But currently our rural districts tend to be huge and our urban districts are small; would this change? Do we start drawing the map from one corner of the state and design districts out from there? Or start from Madison? Or start with the cities? Or start at the actual center of the state? Is there any bias for politics as the map is plotted? There are many ways to have a computer do this.

Does the computer draw the map, without regard to politics, and then a team of people look at the map and ensure that it is neutral? How?

What about current legislators? Is there any effort to draw districts that allow them to continue to serve in the same district?

Is there any attempt to have the new map resemble the old map?

Some have suggested that judges do the redistricting. But judges are either elected or appointed, so they cannot be trusted to be impartial.

Ultimately, maybe legislators have to do it, but do it more openly. How? Maybe redistricting needs approval from all three branches of government, by adding judicial to the current legislative and executive? Which part of judicial?

Eliminating bias is difficult, but it needs to be a priority. Only then will you know that your vote really matters.



Vote November 6
 Paid for by Diana Lawrence for State Assembly, 
Alan Lawrence, Treasurer
www.DianaForAssembly.com
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