Required contents of redistricting bills
The LRB must ensure that each bill embodying a redistricting plan it draws
contains specified conventions to apply wherever territory in a plan is described by
geographic boundaries. Also, each such bill must provide that the bill first applies,
with respect to regular elections, to offices filled at the next occurring general
election and, with respect to special or recall elections, to offices filled or contested
on or after the date of the next occurring general election.
Challenge based on population inequality
If an action is brought challenging a legislative redistricting plan adopted
under the procedure established in the bill on the basis of an excessive population
variance among senate or assembly districts, the legislature has the burden of
justifying any variance in excess of 10 percent between the population of a senate or
assembly district and the applicable ideal district population. If an action is brought
challenging a congressional redistricting plan adopted under the procedure
established in the bill on the basis of an excessive population variance among
congressional districts, the legislature has the burden of justifying any variance in
excess of 1 percent between the population of a congressional district and the
applicable ideal district population.
For further information see the state fiscal estimate, which will be printed as
an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
3.002 (intro.) and (1m) of the statutes are consolidated, renumbered 2
3.002 and amended to read:
33.002 Description of territory.
In this chapter: (1m) Reference
, reference 4
to any county or municipality means that county or municipality as its boundaries 5
exist on April 1 of the year of the federal decennial census on which the districting
6plan described under subch. II is based
3.002 (2) of the statutes is repealed.
3.004 (2) of the statutes is amended to read:
"Ward" means a ward prescribed by a municipality based upon 10
municipal boundaries in effect on April 1 of the year of the federal decennial census 11
in accordance with the most recent revision of municipal wards under s. 5.15 upon
12which the districting plan described under subch. II is based
and used in preparing
13congressional and legislative redistricting plans as required under s. 4.005
Subchapter I of chapter 4 [precedes 4.001] of the statutes is repealed 2
and recreated to read:
In this chapter, unless the context requires otherwise:
"Block" has the meaning given in s. 5.02 (1q).
"Commission" means the redistricting advisory commission established 10
under s. 13.49.
"Plan" means a plan for legislative and congressional reapportionment 12
prepared under this subchapter.
"Political subdivision" means a city, town, village, or county within this 14
"Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act" means 42 U.S.C. 1973
"Ward" means a municipal ward in effect on April 1 of the year of the federal 17
decennial census and used in preparing congressional and legislative redistricting 18
plans as required under s. 4.005.
194.002 Political subdivision boundaries.
In this chapter, reference to any 20
political subdivision means that political subdivision as its boundaries exist on April 21
1 of the year of the federal decennial census.
224.003 Legislative districts established.
This state is divided into 33 senate 23
districts, each composed of 3 assembly districts. Each senate district may elect one 24
member of the senate. Each assembly district may elect one representative to the 25
14.004 Preparations for redistricting. (1)
The legislative reference bureau 2
shall acquire appropriate information, review and evaluate available facilities, and 3
develop programs and procedures in preparation for drawing congressional and 4
legislative redistricting plans on the basis of each federal decennial census.
By December 1 of the year of the decennial federal census, the legislative 6
reference bureau shall obtain from the U.S. bureau of the census information 7
regarding geographic and political units in this state for which federal census 8
population data has been gathered and will be tabulated. The legislative reference 9
bureau shall use the information to do all of the following:
(a) Prepare necessary descriptions of geographic and political units for which 11
census data will be reported and which are suitable for use as components of 12
(b) Prepare maps of geographic and political units within the state which may 14
be used to illustrate the locations of district boundaries proposed in plans prepared 15
in accordance with s. 4.007.
As soon as possible after receiving from the U.S. bureau of the census the 17
population data needed for legislative redistricting which the U.S. bureau of the 18
census is required to provide this state under P. L. 94-171
, the legislative reference 19
bureau shall use that data to assign a population figure based upon certified federal 20
census data to each geographic or political unit described under sub. (2) (b). The 21
legislative reference bureau shall prepare and publish an analysis describing the 22
population of current legislative and congressional districts and the extent to which 23
the districts may violate the standards under s. 4.007. Upon satisfying these 24
requirements, the legislative reference bureau shall begin the preparation of 25
congressional and legislative redistricting plans as required under s. 4.006.
14.005 Use of municipal ward plans.
After receipt of a division ordinance or 2
resolution under s. 5.15 (4) (b), the legislative reference bureau shall use the data 3
obtained from the U.S. bureau of the census under s. 4.004 (3) to assign a population 4
figure based upon certified federal census data to each ward established in the 5
division ordinance or resolution. The legislative reference bureau shall use each 6
ward to which a population figure is assigned in preparing congressional and 7
legislative redistricting plans as required under s. 4.006.
84.006 Preparation of redistricting plans. (1)
Not later than January 1 of 9
the 2nd year following the decennial federal census, the legislative reference bureau 10
shall deliver to the majority leader of the senate and speaker of the assembly 11
identical bills creating plans of legislative and congressional redistricting, prepared 12
in accordance with s. 4.007. Either the assembly or the senate shall bring the bill to 13
a vote expeditiously, but not less than 7 days after the commission report under s. 14
13.49 (3) (c) 2. is received and made available to the members of the legislature. The 15
vote shall be under a procedure or rule permitting no amendments except those of 16
a purely corrective nature. If the bill is approved by the first house in which it is 17
considered, the bill shall expeditiously be brought to a vote in the 2nd house under 18
a similar procedure or rule.
If neither of the bills delivered by the legislative reference bureau under 20
sub. (1) is approved by both the assembly and the senate, the chief clerk of the house 21
that failed to approve the bill shall immediately transmit to the legislative reference 22
bureau information which that house may direct regarding reasons why the plan was 23
not approved. The legislative reference bureau shall prepare identical bills 24
embodying a 2nd plan of legislative and congressional redistricting prepared in 25
accordance with s. 4.007, taking into account the reasons transmitted to the
legislative reference bureau under this subsection insofar as it is possible to do so 2
within the requirements of s. 4.007. The legislative reference bureau shall deliver 3
the bills to the majority leader of the senate and the speaker of the assembly no later 4
than 21 days after the date of the vote by which the senate or the assembly failed to 5
approve the bill submitted under sub. (1). Any bill delivered by the legislative 6
reference bureau under this subsection shall be expeditiously introduced and 7
brought to a vote not less than 7 days after the date of introduction, in the same 8
manner as prescribed for the bill required under sub. (1).
If neither of the bills delivered by the legislative reference bureau under 10
sub. (2) is approved by both the assembly and the senate, the same procedure as 11
prescribed by sub. (2) shall be followed. If a 3rd plan is required under this 12
subsection, the legislative reference bureau shall deliver the bills to the majority 13
leader of the senate and the speaker of the assembly no later than 21 days after the 14
date of the vote by which the senate or the assembly failed to approve the bill 15
submitted under sub. (2). Any bill delivered by the legislative reference bureau 16
under this subsection shall be expeditiously introduced and brought to a vote not less 17
than 7 days after the date of introduction and shall be subject to amendment in the 18
same manner as other bills.
Notwithstanding subs. (1) to (3):
(a) If certified federal census data which is sufficient to permit preparation of 21
a congressional redistricting plan becomes available at an earlier time than the 22
population data needed to permit preparation of a legislative redistricting plan in 23
accordance with s. 4.007, the legislative reference bureau shall so inform the 24
majority leader of the senate and the speaker of the assembly. If the majority leader 25
of the senate and the speaker of the assembly jointly direct, the legislative reference
bureau shall prepare a separate bill establishing congressional districts and deliver 2
it separately from the bill establishing legislative districts. The legislature shall 3
proceed to consider the congressional redistricting bill in substantially the manner 4
prescribed by subs. (1) to (3).
(b) If the population data for legislative redistricting which the U.S. bureau of 6
the census is required to provide this state under P. L. 94-171
and, if used by the 7
legislative reference bureau, the corresponding topologically integrated geographic 8
encoding and referencing data file for that population data are not available to the 9
legislative reference bureau on or before April 1 of the first year following the 10
decennial federal census, the deadlines set forth in this section shall be extended by 11
a number of days equal to the number of days after April 1 of the first year following 12
the decennial federal census that the population data and the topologically 13
integrated geographic encoding and referencing data file for legislative redistricting 14
154.007 Redistricting standards. (1)
Legislative and congressional districts 16
shall be established on the basis of population requirements imposed under the 17
Wisconsin Constitution and the U.S. Constitution and requirements imposed under 18
Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.
Senate and assembly districts, respectively, shall satisfy the population 20
standards established in this subsection. The quotient, obtained by dividing the sum 21
of the absolute values of the deviations of all district populations from the applicable 22
ideal district population by the number of districts established, may not exceed 1 23
percent of the applicable ideal district population, unless necessary to maintain 24
compliance with Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. For purposes of this subsection, 25
the ideal district population is determined by dividing the number of districts to be
established into the population of the state reported in the most recent federal 2
decennial census. No senate district may have a population which exceeds that of 3
any other senate district by more than 10 percent and no assembly district may have 4
a population which exceeds that of any other assembly district by more than 10 5
percent, unless necessary to maintain compliance with Section 2 of the Voting Rights 6
Congressional districts shall each have a population as nearly equal as 8
practicable to the ideal district population, derived as prescribed in sub. (2), while 9
maintaining compliance with Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. No congressional 10
district may have a population which varies by more than 1 percent from the 11
applicable ideal district population, unless necessary to comply with Section 2 of the 12
Voting Rights Act.
District boundaries shall coincide with ward boundaries and, to the extent 14
consistent with sub. (1), shall coincide with the boundaries of political subdivisions. 15
The number of political subdivisions divided among more than one district shall be 16
as small as possible. When there is a choice among political subdivisions to divide, 17
the more populous political subdivisions shall be divided before the less populous, 18
except that this requirement does not apply to a legislative district boundary drawn 19
along a county boundary which passes through a city with territory in more than one 20
Districts shall be composed of convenient contiguous territory. Areas which 22
meet only at the points of adjoining corners are not contiguous.
(a) In this subsection:
1. "Geographic unit center" means that point within a population data unit 25
approximately equidistant from the northern and southern extremities and also
approximately equidistant from the eastern and western extremities of the 2
population data unit. This point shall be determined by visual observation of a map 3
of the population data unit, unless it is otherwise determined within the context of 4
an appropriate coordinate system developed by the federal government or another 5
source that the legislative reference bureau determines is qualified and objective and 6
is obtained for use in this state with prior approval of the joint committee on 7
2. "Population data unit" means a ward, census enumeration district, block, or 9
other unit of territory having clearly identified geographic boundaries and for which 10
a total population figure is included in or can be derived directly from certified 11
federal census data.
3. "X-coordinate" means the relative location of a point along the east–west 13
axis of the state. Unless otherwise measured within the context of an appropriate 14
coordinate system obtained for use as permitted by subd. 1., the x-coordinate shall 15
be measured along a line drawn due east from a due north and south line running 16
through the point which is the western extremity of this state, to the point to be 17
4. "Y-coordinate" means the relative location of a point along the north–south 19
axis of the state. Unless otherwise measured within the context of an appropriate 20
coordinate system obtained for use as permitted by subd. 1., the y-coordinate shall 21
be measured along a line drawn due south from a due east and west line running 22
through the point which is the northern extremity of this state, to the point to be 23
(b) To the extent consistent with subs. (1) to (3), districts shall be compact in 25
form. Compact districts are those which are square, rectangular, or hexagonal in
shape to the extent permitted by natural or political boundaries. When it is 2
necessary to compare the relative compactness of 2 or more districts, or of 2 or more 3
alternative redistricting plans, the tests prescribed by pars. (c) and (d) shall be used. 4
Should the results of these 2 tests be contradictory, the standard under par. (c) shall 5
be given greater weight than the standard under par. (d).
(c) 1. The compactness of a district is greatest when the length of the district 7
and the width of the district are equal. The measure of a district's compactness is 8
the absolute value of the difference between the length and the width of the district.
2. In measuring the compactness of a district by means of electronic data 10
processing, the difference between the x-coordinates of the easternmost and the 11
westernmost geographic unit centers included in the district shall be compared to the 12
difference between the y-coordinates of the northernmost and southernmost 13
geographic unit centers included in the district.
3. To determine the length and width of a district by manual measurement, the 15
distance from the northernmost point or portion of the boundary of a district to the 16
southernmost point or portion of the boundary of the same district and the distance 17
from the westernmost point or portion of the boundary of the district to the 18
easternmost point or portion of the boundary of the same district shall each be 19
measured. If the northernmost or southernmost portion of the boundary, or each of 20
these points, is a part of the boundary running due east and west, the line used to 21
make the measurement required by this subdivision shall be drawn either due north 22
and south or as nearly so as the configuration of the district permits. If the 23
easternmost or westernmost portion of the boundary, or each of these points, is a part 24
of the boundary running due north and south, a similar procedure shall be followed. 25
The lines to be measured for the purpose of this subdivision shall each be drawn as
required by this subdivision, even if some part of either or both lines lies outside the 2
boundaries of the district which is being tested for compactness.
4. The absolute values computed for individual districts under this paragraph 4
may be cumulated for all districts in a plan in order to compare the overall 5
compactness of 2 or more alternative redistricting plans for the state or for a portion 6
of the state. However, it is not valid to cumulate or compare absolute values 7
computed using the measurements under subd. 2. with those computed using the 8
measurements under subd. 3.
(d) 1. The compactness of a district is greatest when the ratio of the dispersion 10
of population about the population center of the district to the dispersion of 11
population about the geographic center of the district is one to one.
2. The population dispersion about the population center of a district or about 13
the geographic center of a district is computed as the sum of the products of the 14
population of each population data unit included in the district multiplied by the 15
square of the distance from the geographic unit center of that population data unit 16
to the population center or the geographic center of the district, as the case may be. 17
The geographic center of the district is defined by averaging the locations of all 18
geographic unit centers which are included in the district. The population center of 19
the district is defined by computing the population–weighted average of the 20
x-coordinates and y-coordinates of each geographic unit center assigned to the 21
district, it being assumed for the purpose of this calculation that each population 22
data unit possesses uniform density of population.
3. The ratios computed for individual districts under this paragraph may be 24
averaged for all districts in a plan in order to compare the overall compactness of 2 25
or more alternative redistricting plans for the state or for a portion of the state.
In preparing any redistricting plan, the legislative reference bureau shall 2
be strictly nonpartisan. No district may be drawn for the purpose of favoring a 3
political party, incumbent legislator or member of Congress, or other person or group 4
or, except to the extent required under sub. (1), for the purpose of augmenting or 5
diluting the voting strength of a language or racial minority group. In establishing 6
districts, no use shall be made of any of the following data:
(a) The residence addresses of incumbent legislators or members of Congress.
(b) Political affiliations of registered voters.
(c) Previous election results.
(d) Demographic information except as necessary to meet the requirements of 11
The number of assembly districts in any redistricting plan may not be less 13
than 54 nor more than 100. The number of senate districts in any redistricting plan 14
may not be more than one-third nor less than one-fourth of the number of assembly 15
districts. Each senate district shall contain only whole assembly districts. Except 16
as otherwise provided in this subsection, to the extent possible, each congressional 17
district shall contain only whole senate districts. The other standards specified in 18
this section shall take precedence where a conflict arises between those standards 19
and the requirement of including only whole senate districts within a congressional 20
214.008 Required provisions in redistricting bills.
Each bill delivered under 22
s. 4.006 shall provide all of the following:
That, wherever territory is described in the bill by geographic boundaries, 24
the following conventions are used:
(a) Each bound continues to the intersection with the bound next named, or to 2
the intersection with a straight-line extension of such bound.
(b) If the bound is a street, it follows the center line of the street or the center 4
line of the street extended.
(c) If the bound is a railroad right-of-way, it follows the center line of the 6
(d) If the bound is a river or stream, it follows the center of the main channel 8
of such river or stream.
(e) If the bound follows a municipal boundary, it coincides with such boundary.
That the bill first applies, with respect to regular elections, to offices filled 11
at the next occurring general election after the bill takes effect and, with respect to 12
special or recall elections, to offices filled or contested on or after the date of that 13
144.0085 Challenge based on population inequality; burden of proof.
an action is brought challenging a legislative redistricting plan under this 16
subchapter on the basis of an excessive population variance among senate or 17
assembly districts established in the plan, the legislature has the burden of 18
justifying any variance in excess of 10 percent between the population of a senate or 19
assembly district and the applicable ideal district population. If an action is brought 20
challenging a congressional redistricting plan under this subchapter on the basis of 21
an excessive population variance among congressional districts established in the 22
plan, the legislature has the burden of justifying any variance in excess of 1 percent 23
between the population of a congressional district and the applicable ideal district 24
5.15 (4) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) Except as provided in par. (c), the division ordinance or resolution 2
shall number all wards in the municipality with unique whole numbers in 3
consecutive order, beginning with the number one, shall designate the polling place 4
for each ward, and shall describe the boundaries of each ward consistent with the 5
conventions set forth in s. 4.003 4.008 (1)
. The ordinance or resolution shall be 6
accompanied by a list of the block numbers used by the U.S. bureau of the census that 7
are wholly or partly contained within each ward, with any block numbers partly 8
contained within a ward identified, and a map of the municipality which illustrates 9
the revised ward boundaries. If the legislature, in an act redistricting legislative 10
districts under article IV, section 3, of the constitution, or in redistricting 11
congressional districts, establishes a district boundary within a municipality that 12
does not coincide with the boundary of a ward established under the ordinance or 13
resolution of the municipality, the municipal governing body shall, no later than 14
April 10 of the 2nd year following the year of the federal decennial census on which 15
the act is based, amend the ordinance or resolution to the extent required to effect 16
the act. The amended ordinance or resolution shall designate the polling place for 17
any ward that is created to effect the legislative act. Nothing in this paragraph shall 18
be construed to compel a county or city to alter or redraw supervisory or aldermanic 19
13.49 of the statutes is created to read:
2113.49 Redistricting advisory commission. (1) Definitions.
In this section:
(a) "Chief election officer" means the chief election officer of the government 23
(b) "Four selecting authorities" means all of the following:
1. The majority leader of the senate.
2. The minority leader of the senate.
3. The speaker of the assembly.
4. The minority leader of the assembly.
(c) "Partisan public office" means any of the following:
1. The office of governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state treasurer, 6
attorney general, state senator, or state representative to the assembly.
2. A county office which is filled by an election process involving nomination 8
and election of candidates on a partisan basis.
(d) "Political party office" means an elective office in a political party, as defined 10
in s. 5.02 (13), or in a national political party.
(e) "Relative" means an individual who is related to the person in question as 12
father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece, 13
husband, wife, grandfather, grandmother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, 14
son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, 15
stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother, or half 16
17(2) General provisions.
(a) Not later than February 15 of the first year 18
following the decennial federal census, a temporary redistricting advisory 19
commission is created consisting of 5 members. Each of the 4 selecting authorities 20
shall certify to the chief election officer the selecting authority's appointment of a 21
person to serve on the commission. Within 30 days after the last selecting authority 22
has certified his or her appointment, but not later than February 15 of the first year 23
following the decennial federal census, the 4 commission members so appointed shall 24
select, by a vote of at least 3 members, and certify to the chief election officer the 5th 25
commission member, who shall serve as chairperson.
(b) No individual may be appointed to the redistricting advisory commission 2
who satisfies any of the following:
1. The individual is not an eligible elector of this state at the time of the 4
2. The individual holds partisan public office or political party office.