Minority Democrats in Wisconsin are looking to reform the redistricting process in favor of an approach done for decades in neighboring Iowa. The non-partisan Iowa Legislative Services Agency draws up the new districts solely on population data provided after each census.
The legislature can either approve or disapprove of the first and 2nd drafts of the maps, but if they vote down the 3rd map, the Iowa Supreme Court redistricts the state.
“Since 1981 in this process the legislature has accepted one of the plans we’ve presented,” says Ed Cook, head of the Agency.
This round of the Hawkeye State’s redistricting was signed into law in April.
The panel doesn’t worry about the political ramifications; for instance, sitting legislators often find themselves in a different district. The displaced politicians have three options: call it a day, run as a challenger in their new district or move into the district they currently represent.
Cook says this year the Iowa Senate President was put in a district he felt “he couldn’t win,” instead decided to retire.
In Wisconsin, the majority party uses redistricting to draw boundaries favorable to reelection chances.