Redistricting in Wisconsin
The following timeline is a high-level overview outlining major redistricting events and activity in the state of Wisconsin over the last 10 years.
Republicans won trifecta control of the state, meaning that Republicans controlled the governorship and both chambers of the state legislature.
Census data delivered to Wisconsin.
Working with REDMAP, Republicans gerrymandered the state legislative and congressional maps.
Republican Governor Scott Walker signed the gerrymandered maps.
In consolidated lawsuits brought by voters in federal court, districts were found to violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by diluting the voting power of Latino voters, and ordered them to be redrawn.
President Obama won the state with 53% of the vote, but Republicans retained 59% of the state legislature under gerrymandered maps.
Separate litigation, known as Gill v. Whitford, found that the state Assembly maps were illegal partisan gerrymanders and thus the maps were invalid.
The U.S. Supreme Court blocked a redraw for the state Assembly map until the Court rules on the appeal in 2018, following oral argument held in October 2017.
The NDRC and its affiliated groups made significant monetary investments to help Democrat Patty Schachtner win her race for the state Senate.
The NDRC and its affiliates made significant monetary investments to help Judge Rebecca Dallet win her race for the state Supreme Court of Wisconsin. Dallet’s opponent was a close ally of Gov. Walker who previously defended the state’s gerrymandered maps.
The National Redistricting Foundation, NDRC’s affiliate, supported plaintiffs who successfully sued Gov. Walker for refusing to call special elections after two Republican legislators received positions in his administration.
After several efforts to contest the ruling and even change the law requiring special elections to be held, the legislature and Gov. Walker gave up and called the elections for June 12.
The NDRC and its affiliates made significant monetary investments in support of two Democratic candidates: Caleb Frostman for an open seat in the 1st Senate District and Ann Groves Lloyd for an open seat in the 42nd Assembly District.
Caleb Frostman won his race in the special election.
The U.S. Supreme Court found plaintiffs in Whitford failed to show they were individually injured by the redistricting plan, and thus lacked standing to assert their claims. The Court remanded the case back to the district court for a determination of plaintiffs’ standing.
With the support of the NDRC, Democrat Tony Evers won the governor’s race with 49.6% of the vote, breaking the Republican trifecta in Wisconsin.
After the election, outgoing Republican governor Scott Walker passed legislation in a lame-duck session to strip incoming Governor-elect Tony Evers of certain powers.