Federal Court Will Draw Final District Lines

The electoral districts that will be in place for the next 10 years will soon be finalized by a panel of federal judges.

Every 10 years the state legislature must redraw election boundaries to reflect population shifts and ensure that political districts throughout the state include roughly the same number of voters. The most recent redistricting effort, drafted and passed by Republicans in 2011, was challenged in court by a group of Democrats and the immigrant rights group Voces de la Frontera.

A panel of three federal judges recently ruled that two of the new Assembly districts violate the federal Voting Rights Act because they dilute the voting powers of Latinos. The judges ordered the state and the groups suing it to hold meetings to try to reach an agreement on where the line separating Assembly Districts 8 and 9 in Milwaukee should be drawn.

The parties failed to reach an agreement on where the line should be drawn, so the two sides filed suggested maps with the court on Tuesday, April 3. The judges will now make the final decision on where the district line shall be drawn.