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Gov. Evers makes stop in Wausau to talk redistricting

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) -- Governor Tony Evers first announced his plans for redistricting during his State of the State address last week. On Monday the governor signed an executive order creating a redistricting commission.

The commission will be made up of people from across the state in order to create non-partisan district maps. Governor Evers said the current maps benefit republican candidates.

"When elected officials can rely on the safety of their seats rather than the quality of their work, something's wrong," Evers said.

The redistricting effort was inspired in part by a Lincoln County Board Supervisor, Hans Breitenmoser.

"Something as important and as foundation to our democracy as drawing the maps by which we choose our legislators, if anything should be done transparently, that's it," Breitenmoser said.

Breitenmoser, along with the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors, were one of the first counties to pass an advisory urging state leadership to consider non-partisan redistricting.

Now, he said, 50 of the 72 counties have passed similar advisories.

But, ultimately it's up to the legislature to take up whatever the commission comes up with. Right now, there's some uncertainty among Republicans about the redistricting commission.

After the State of the State of address, State Senator Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point) said, "The way I see it, this is the role of the legislature. I'm not sure the mechanics of it, how a governor can simply assign a task force and call it non-partisan."

Evers said various data will be used by the commission, including data from the 2020 Census.

Sarah McGrew

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