Wisconsin Green Party Responds to New Legislative Maps

The Wisconsin Green Party (WIGP) welcomes the new legislative maps recently signed by Governor Evers. We recognize that these maps can help put an end to the Republican gerrymandering that has distorted the representation of the people of Wisconsin during the past decade. We believe that these maps are fairer and more accurate than the previous ones, and that they will give more voice and choice to Wisconsin voters in upcoming elections.

However, we also believe that new maps are not enough to ensure a truly democratic and representative system.  While the adoption of fairer maps marks progress, we believe that a more comprehensive solution to address gerrymandering lies in fundamentally reevaluating our electoral system. WIGP recognizes the pitfalls of operating in the first-past-the-post (FPTP) electoral system currently used to elect members of the state legislature and the U.S. Congress. This winner-take-all system often produces disproportional results, where the number of seats a party wins does not reflect the number of votes they receive. The current system also discourages competition and diversity, as it tends to favor the two major parties and marginalize smaller parties and independent candidates. Finally, FPTP exacerbates polarization and extremism, as it creates incentives for candidates to appeal to their base and demonize political opponents rather than seek compromise and consensus.

As an alternative, WIGP advocates for implementation of Ranked Choice Voting and Proportional Representation as alternative electoral systems. Ranked Choice Voting allows voters to rank candidates by preference, rather than choosing only one candidate. If no candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and their votes are transferred to their second-choice candidates. This process continues until a candidate wins a majority of votes. Ranked Choice Voting can increase voter turnout as more people have a sense that their vote will count, reduce negative campaigning, and encourage a diversity of candidates.

Proportional Representation is a system that allocates seats to parties or candidates according to the percentage of votes they receive. Because Proportional Representation assigns seats in proportion to votes earned, it effectively eliminates partisan gerrymandering in a way that single-seat districts cannot. Proportional Representation has many other benefits, such as electing legislators that are more representative of and responsive to voters, in addition to fostering cooperation and coalition-building.

WIGP recognizes that Ranked Choice Voting and Proportional Representation are the best electoral reforms available to achieve the Green Party’s key principles of grassroots democracy and social justice. While the adoption of new maps is a step in the right direction in reducing gerrymandering, the only way to eliminate gerrymandering is by adopting proportional representation. In order to forward a healthier democratic process, we encourage all Wisconsinites to support better voting systems aligned with the Wisconsin Green Party's values of fairness, transparency, and a more representative democracy.


Additional resources to learn more:

Allen, J. (2023, December 20). Proportional representation, explained. Protect Democracy. https://protectdemocracy.org/work/proportional-representation-explained/

Allen, J. (2023, September 14). Proportional representation and gerrymandering. Protect Democracy. https://protectdemocracy.org/work/proportional-representation-and-gerrymandering/

First past the post voting: our elections explained - Colorado common cause. (2020, August 20). Colorado Common Cause. https://www.commoncause.org/colorado/democracy-wire/first-past-the-post-voting-our-elections-explained/

Ranked-choice voting (RCV) - Ballotpedia. (n.d.). Ballotpedia. https://ballotpedia.org/Ranked-choice_voting_(RCV)

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