Dane County residents voted in favor of both an advisory referendum to legalize marijuana use at the state level and an advisory referendum to amend the Wisconsin Constitution to require nonpartisan methods for redistricting legislative and congressional districts in the state.
There were 41,081 votes in favor of the legalization of marijuana, accounting for 64.5 percent of the vote. Those voting against the referendum accounted for 35.5 percent.
District 5 Board Supervisor Leland Pan, who also won the District 5 election Tuesday night, said he hopes the legalization of marijuana referendum will decrease current racial disparities in Dane County. He said legalizing marijuana would help lower incarceration rates, especially for African-Americans.
Polls showed Dane County voters also support an amendment to the state constitution to require nonpartisan means for redistricting legislative districts, with 82.1 percent voting to support on that referendum with 50,643 votes. About 18 percent voted against the referendum.
University of Wisconsin political science professor Kenneth Mayer said in March that legislative and congressional redistricting has proven favorable for both Democratic and Republican parties in other states that have upheld a similar referendum.
Mayer said with nonpartisan redistricting, districts tend to be more evenly distributed between Democrats and Republicans.
[Photo via "it was 3 a.m."/Flickr]