by Benjamin Yount
Wisconsin’s governor is sending a clear signal that he can’t or doesn’t want to work with lawmakers in drawing the state’s new political map.
Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul on Monday asked a federal judge to allow them to join a lawsuit that would skip the constitutional process for drawing Wisconsin’s new map, and have the court draw it instead.
“I never thought I would be spending a lot of my time as governor protecting our democracy, but it’s clear that with continued attacks on the right to vote, misinformation around the 2020 election, and efforts to gerrymander our maps, this work has never been more important,” Evers said in a statement. “I will continue to fight every day to protect the right of every eligible voter to cast their ballot, to ensure we have fair, free, and secure elections, and to have fair maps in Wisconsin.”
The Republican-controlled legislature will draw Wisconsin’s next political map, but Evers has to sign it.
Brett Healy, President of the MacIver Institute, told The Center Square that instead of doing his job and working with lawmakers, Evers is choosing to fight them.
“The governor has shown, once again, his true colors and his complete refusal to lead our state,” Healy said. “Rather than sit down to talk and negotiate with legislative leaders about redistricting, Gov. Evers wants the Judiciary to unnecessarily step in and tell the legislature and the voters who elected these legislators to be quiet and this is how you are going to do your job.”
There are three lawsuits over Wisconsin’s to-be-drawn map, two in federal court, and one in state court. Evers is asking to join the lawsuit from a group of activist voters who say there is no way lawmakers and the governor will be able to agree on a map. They instead want the courts to draw the map.
“The precedent is clear and by saying that there are problems even before the redistricting process has begun, the Governor has shown himself to be an extreme partisan, something the Judiciary will remember when it decides if it will become involved,” Healy said.
Republicans have just begun the process to draw the map, the Census figures were just released last month.
The hope is to have the map drawn, and to have the lawsuits wrapped-up by the elections next spring.
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