The Senate voted today to send Gov. Tony Evers a bill that would delay redrawing of boundaries for city councils and county boards.
Under AB 369, the February 2022 primary and April 2022 general election for local offices would be held under current maps drawn in 2011.
The bill, concurred in 18-12 along party lines, would not affect the timing of redistricting for congressional or legislative districts, which must be redrawn before the 2022 election. It also would require municipalities to draw wards that take into account any legislative or congressional maps drawn off the 2020 census numbers.
Sen. Jeff Smith, D-Brunswick, accused Republicans of a lack of transparency regarding redistricting. And Sen. Chris Larson, D-Milwaukee, raised concerns about gerrymandered maps.
“It hurts democracy. It hurts communities,” Larson said. “This bill ends up taking us further in the wrong direction.”
The bill comes amid delays in gaining 2020 census data, which is expected to be delivered by September. Under the bill, counties would have until February 22, 2022, to adopt district plans, but municipalities may not adopt new ward plans before April 15 or later than May 15.