Evers vetoes GOP’s legislative maps, saying they allow lawmakers to ‘ignore the people’

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers says he has vetoed redrawn legislative maps approved by the Republican-controlled state legislature.

“As other politicians in this state abuse their power to try and predetermine our elections, as they try to create controversy where there is none, as they try to discredit the hard work of our election administrators and poll workers who helped ensure we had a free, fair, and secure election last November, I will not,” Evers said in a video statement announcing the veto.

Democrats have dubbed the maps proposed by Republicans as “Gerrymandering 2.0,” because they were based on previous electoral maps drawn by Republicans ten years ago, and multiple analyses of the maps passed by the Legislature found they would further reduce the number of competitive districts across the state, likely solidifying Republican control of the State Assembly and Senate.

“What’s sitting in front of me here are gerrymandered maps modeled after the same gerrymandered maps we’ve had for a decade,” Evers said in his veto message.

A public hearing on the Republicans’ proposed maps lasted several hours, with hundreds of people signing up to speak. However, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu were the only people to speak in favor of the maps.

“Hundreds showed up on short notice to voice their opposition to these maps, and not a single member of the public testified in support of these bills at that public hearing,” Evers said. “And they were sent to my desk over the objections of a decade’s worth of people in this state demanding better, demanding more, and demanding a fair, nonpartisan process for preparing our maps for the next 10 years.”

“Elected officials shouldn’t be able to depend on the comfort of their seats instead of the quality of their work, and the gerrymandered maps Republicans passed a decade ago have enabled legislators to safely ignore the people who elected them,” Evers added.

Evers had backed the non-partisan People’s Maps Commission and the maps that the commission came up with, which received better “fairness” grades from non-partisan observers but also led to concerns about minority representation.

The veto means Wisconsin’s electoral maps for the next decade will be determined by the courts. There are currently lawsuits pending in both the State Supreme Court and federal court regarding the state’s maps.