County Board to vote on fair districts resolution


B.C. Kowalski/City Pages

County Board Member Katie Rosenberg pushed for fair district boundary legislation, and the county board will vote on it in July.

Nearly 20 counties in Wisconsin have now adopted resolutions calling for non-partisan redistricting, and Marathon County is one step closer to doing the same.

The county board this month will vote on a resolution that calls for a non-partisan process to decide political boundaries. District boundaries are redrawn every ten years in response to updated census data to ensure voters are evenly distributed between districts.

Currently districts are redrawn by whatever party is in charge, but a resolution put forth by County Board Member Katie Rosenberg calls for the state to adopt a non-partisan process for developing those districts. The move is meant to curb gerrymandering, in which districts are redrawn to favor the party performing the redistricting.

On March 21, The Lincoln County Board passed a similar resolution, from which the Marathon County version was modeled. Board members in Milwaukee County in June called for a similar resolution, making it the 19th county to do so.

The Marathon County’s Executive Committee forwarded the resolution on to the county board in June. Executive Committee member John Robinson says he motioned the resolution forward because he wanted the partisanship out of the process. “There will probably be a little more of a shift to the middle if the districts are more competitive.”

Rosenberg, who made the initial push for the resolution, says it’s not about who is in charge, because gerrymandering happens in both parties. “This is saying, no matter who is in charge, we need to draw the lines fairly.”