MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WTAQ) - Tom Barrett, the Democrats’ main candidate for governor, said Monday that a non-partisan board should draft the boundaries for state legislative and congressional districts.
Barrett, the Milwaukee mayor, says his goal would be to have Democrats represent half the voters in each district, and Republicans the other half. New districts are drawn every 10 years, soon after the Census.
Right now, legislators do the job themselves. And even though a federal court normally steps in, there are criticisms that lawmakers draw the lines with as many friendly voters as possible – thus giving their parties control of those districts for up to a whole decade.
But next year, there won’t be nearly as many incumbents drawing the lines – since 1 of every 6 lawmakers have already said they’ll walk out the door in January.
Barrett’s plan would let lawmakers, outside groups, and others draft redistricting plans and submit them to the Government Accountability Board. That panel would choose the fairest maps, and submit them to lawmakers for approval. And if the Legislature cannot agree, the accountability board would have the final say on the maps.