After debate between the Dane County Board and County Executive Kathleen Falk over the county’s new redistricting map, Falk finally signed a compromised version on Friday.
Every 10 years the county is required to redraw its district boundaries according to U.S. Census numbers, and state law gives counties a few months to redraw their maps.
Falk vetoed the first map drawn up by the Board saying it split too many communities, created odd-shaped districts and didn’t have enough minority representation, and had she not signed a map by Sunday, it would have been settled in Dane County District Court.
Sharyn Wisniewski, executive assistant to Falk, said the new map has 37 districts, down from 39 on the last map.
And while students’ presence in one of the districts was diminished, County Board Superintendent Scott McDonell said students still have solid representation in two districts and a strong presence in two others.
District 5 saw the most change adding the Regent apartment building and the University Heights neighborhood, while District 8 remains mostly unchanged.
In addition, District 4 was shifted southward and no longer stretches the entire isthmus, and District 2 has expanded towards campus past James Madison Park.
“It’s a more fair map compared to the previous one [vetoed by Falk],” McDonell said. “This [map signed by Falk] was worked out by both sides rather than just one.”
Wisniewski said Falk’s goal with the new map was to keep communities of interest together and keep a similar number of people in each district.
The Madison City Council also had to redraw its voting boundaries according to the Census data. Their map was finalized by the original June 1 deadline; however, it could not be voted upon until the county map was approved.
– The Wisconsin State Journal contributed to this article