‘Redistricting and its Impact on Voting’ focus of webinar Nov. 3

“Redistricting and its Impact on Voting” will be a ZOOM webinar presented Wednesday, Nov. 3, by the Center for Politics and the People of Ripon College and the League of Women Voters of the Ripon Area.

The webinar will run from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. Access is available at ripon.edu/voting. A post-event recording will be available on YouTube at go.ripon.edu/P1a.

With the release of new census data in early August, state legislatures now will undertake redrawing election districts which will be in place for the next 10 years. This has important implications for the impact of voting and for control of both the U.S. Congress and state legislatures for the next decade. The fact that the country is seriously divided politically right now, and stalemate in government often occurs both at the national and state levels on important policy issues, complicates the process.

In Wisconsin, Democratic Gov. Tony Evers wants the redistricting commission he appointed to redraw new elections maps because of significant population changes since the last census in 2010. He already has filed a suit in federal court arguing the judicial system should be prepared to redraw Wisconsin’s electoral maps in the event of a stalemate between the governor and the legislature.

The Republican-controlled legislature, however, has opposed Evers’ lawsuit. They support using the state’s current process for redistricting, where the legislature draws the maps and the governor approves them. They also proposed a resolution that the new boundary lines should adhere as closely as possible to existing congressional and legislative district maps to promote “equal opportunity to vote by minimizing disenfranchisement.”

The Nov. 3 panel will explore these issues related to carrying out redistricting at both the state and local levels. They will discuss whether there are nonpartisan methods to determine election maps, the impact of partisan politics on redistricting, and the potential role of courts in the process.

Panelists will be:

  • Joan Ballweg, Wisconsin state senator, 14th District (R)
  • Jordan Ellenberg, John D. MacArthur Professor of Mathematics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and author of Shape: The Hidden Geometry of Information, Biology, Strategy, Democracy and Everything Else, which explains the geometry behind gerrymandering.
  • Martin Farrell, professor emeritus of politics and government at Ripon College and chair of the Fond du Lac County Board of Supervisors.

The moderator will be Ellen Sorensen, Ripon College class of 2000, president of the League of Women Voters of the Ripon Area.

(Photo: Clockwise from top left, Joan Ballweg, Jordan Ellenberg, Ellen Sorensen, Martin Farrell).


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