Monday, September 25, 2023

Cheating to win elections: Wisconsin GOP defend the indefensible use of cracking and packing in drawing legislative districts (City of Kenosha part 3)

Diluting the urban vote in southeastern Wisconsin, part 5.    

With a population of just under 100,000, the City of Kenosha has enough residents for 1 Assembly district all its own, as shown here, and two-thirds of another.

Tod Ohnstad (D-Kenosha) has represented the district since January 2013.  In November 2022, he defeated his Republican opponent by nearly 24 percentage points.

Headline:  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8/11/2023
Map:  Wisconsin State Legislature (highlight added)

Somehow, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Tyler Katzenberger can write an article about legislative district without mentioning 'gerrymandering', 'packing', and 'cracking'.  

It's called journalistic malpractice.

The UW Applied Population Lab defines 'cracking' as 
drawing districts in such a way as to divide a concentration of specific types of voters across several districts such that they are a minority in each one, with practically no hope of achieving representation in any of the districts. This practice also helps make districts less competitive.
Th UW Applied Population Lab defines 'packing' as 
the practice of drawing particular districts in such a way as to ensure that another party's candidate wins that seat by a tremendous margin. Although the opposing party is all but guaranteed the seat, packing makes surrounding districts less competitive, and thus tips the balance of power in the legislative body overall toward the ruling party.

Meet the leaders of the packing and cracking brigade!

Wouldn't you rather have this diverse group in the majority?  They support fair maps.

Related reading:

“In the past 12 years, one political party captured the Legislature and has insulated itself from being answerable to the voters,” Jeff Mandell, partner at Stafford Rosenbaum and board president of Law Forward, said in a statement. 
“Despite the fact that our legislative branch is meant to be the most directly representative of the people, the gerrymandered maps have divided our communities, preventing fair representation. This has eroded confidence in our political system, suppressed competitive elections, skewed policy outcomes, and undermined democratic representation. We have endured 12 years of rule by right-wing interests, and the voters of Wisconsin deserve fair representation.”  [emphasis added]

Other posts in the series:

See also:  Wisconsin Gerrymandering Spotlight, round 2

See also:  Spotlight on Wisconsin gerrymandering

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