January 20, 2022


On November 30, 2021, the Wisconsin Supreme Court decided to take a “least change” approach to redistricting in Wisconsin. The justices indicated they would draw their own maps as close as possible to those drawn a decade ago as. Justice Rebecca Bradley stated “the justices must make as few changes to the maps as possible as a way to respect the past choices lawmakers have made. They cannot attempt to right what opponents perceive as past wrongs.”

The Wisconsin NAACP vehemently disagrees with the court’s “least change” approach. Wisconsin’s current political maps are regarded by some to be among the most gerrymandered in the nation and following the lines drafted a decade ago will serve only to embed this imbalance further into our democracy. Moreover, the court’s approach, we believe, will fail to reflect the changes our state has gone through in the last ten years, potentially diluting Black voting strength.  We demand the 2020 redistricting maps remove the lingering flaws from a decade ago and provide Black voters with an equal and fair opportunity to elect candidates of our choice.

“We have substantial worries about the court’s “least change” process,” said President Wendell Harris of the Wisconsin NAACP. “ It means that whatever inequalities are built into our maps now will only be further entrenched. It means that Black voters who are underserved by our current maps will continue to be inadequately represented for the next decade.”

Yesterday, January 19, the Wisconsin Supreme Court entertained oral arguments on several proposed maps, however the Wisconsin NAACP is deeply skeptical that the Court will do more than rectify the existing malapportionment in its final order. The Court’s instance that it will adopt “neutral standards” that will not “do anything more than secure legal rights” indicate an unwillingness to make the changes necessary to rectify any ongoing dilution of Black voting strength in Wisconsin.

Moreover, keeping Wisconsin’s maps largely as they currently stand will only reinforce the discriminatory nature of Wisconsin’s politics, further marginalize Black communities, and sustain the divisive atmosphere in our State. Black voting strength in Wisconsin is tenuous and only recently have Black voters been able to elect candidates of their choice in numbers approaching our percentage of Wisconsin’s population.

It is essential that Black voting strength is preserved if Black voters are to be able to equally participate in Wisconsin’s democracy and elect candidates that will adequately represent our communities.

Read the Wisconsin NAACP’s full statement on the redistricting and the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s approach here.


Contact:  Greg Jones, Vice President – NAACP State Conference

President – NAACP Dane County


Phone:    608.335.2001

The NAACP is the oldest, largest, and strongest civil rights organization in the US.

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