Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Cheating to win elections: Wisconsin GOP defends the use of cracking and packing in drawing legislative districts (City of Eau Claire part 1)

Diluting the Democratic vote in Eau Claire    

The 67th Assembly District includes portions of Dunn, Eau Claire, and Chippewa counties, with Chippewa taking up the largest chunk of area.  

With a population of 104,000, Eau Claire County has enough residents to fill nearly two Assembly districts.  If anything, the cities of Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls should be included in the same district as communities of interest.

The invisible Rob Summerfield (R-Bloomer) has represented the district since January 2017.  In November 2022, Summerfield defeated his Democratic challenger by 25 percentage points.

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:

WEAU, 8/2/2023
“For years, members of the Wisconsin State Legislature have consistently ignored the will of the people, and they’ve been able to do so comfortably and without facing any real accountability because they have gerrymandered themselves into safe, partisan districts.' 
"It’s time for that to change,” said Gov. Evers. “Today’s filing is great news for our democracy and for the people of "our state whose demands for fair maps and a nonpartisan redistricting process have gone repeatedly ignored by their legislators for years." 
The people of Wisconsin deserve fair maps and a Legislature that listens, and this lawsuit brings us one step closer to ensuring Wisconsinites’ voices are heard.”

Other posts in the series:

See also:  Wisconsin Gerrymandering Spotlight, round 2

See also:  Spotlight on Wisconsin gerrymandering

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