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Wisconsin governor signs new legislative maps into law in potential boost to Democrats

Although the GOP-controlled Legislature passed the maps, Republicans said they did not have much of a choice in the matter.

Published: February 20, 2024 9:14am

Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers signed new legislative maps into law, marking the first time in more than 50 years that state lawmakers implemented maps rather than the courts. 

The Republican-controlled Wisconsin State Legislature passed the maps last week with bipartisan support, and Evers enacted it into law Monday amid concerns that the new maps may benefit Democrats. 

"Today is a victory not for me or any political party but for our state and for the people of Wisconsin who’ve spent a decade demanding more and demanding better of us as elected officials," Evers said when he signed the maps into law. 

The last maps were drawn by Republicans in 2010, and Evers accused the GOP of using "new technology and algorithms to draw some of the most undemocratic, gerrymandered legislative maps in the United States of America." 

Although the GOP-controlled Legislature passed the maps, Republicans said they did not have much of a choice in the matter, as they were concerned that the liberal-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court would select maps that were even more hostile toward them, per the Wisconsin State Journal.

"The Legislature faces two choices," State Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, a Republican, said. "Either pass the governor’s maps as is or let the liberal majority of the Wisconsin Supreme Court gerrymander the status quo."

Every Democrat, with the exception of two, voted against the proposed maps alongside several Republicans. 

Evers' signature likely ends the legal battle that had been ongoing regarding the maps after the Wisconsin Supreme Court in December rejected proposed maps and ordered new lines to be drawn before the 2024 election.

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