Wisconsin citizens no longer live in a true democracy. The democratic principle “one person one vote” was lost in 2011 when the majority party redrew the state electoral maps to consistently gain over 60 percent of legislative seats with less than 50 percent of votes.
Not only were the maps drawn in secret, they were then imposed on local governments to redraw their wards and boundaries to comply. This completely shut local concerns and communities of interest out of the process. Party bosses who know the least about local needs and logical boundaries usurped the power.
Since the pandemic, we have seen the consequences of our Wisconsin Legislature flagrantly unresponsive to the voters. They did not meet from April to December, and now they can’t even agree to respect one another by wearing masks when in session.
Some of our citizens have managed well, but others have lost jobs, lost businesses, and are facing evictions and foreclosures. People who qualify for unemployment have waited months for relief. And worst of all, over 6,000 Wisconsinites have died so far from a virus that has been recklessly downplayed by party-serving legislators.
Our legislature must draw new electoral maps this year. If we do nothing to assert our will, the majority party will enact the same sort of rigged maps that discount thousands of our votes, assuring their continued unchecked power and the polarization of which we are so weary.
We must insist our legislators enact a transparent, nonpartisan process for electoral maps that will return power to the voters.
I will only vote for candidates who pledge to support a process for fair maps in 2021. Below is the reliable web address I used to send notice to my state representatives. Please join me.
Jane Speer of Delafield and Land O’Lakes
Editor’s note: Wausau Pilot & Review gladly publishes commentary from readers, residents and candidates for local offices. The views of readers and columnists are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot & Review. To submit, email email@example.com or mail to 500 N. Third St., Suite 208-8, Wausau, Wis. 54403.