Jordan Candler / Jan. 5, 2017

Court Shows Political Favoritism in Wisconsin

Leftists will look anywhere and everywhere to shut down the state’s Republican uprising.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has weathered a barrage of storms over the years from angry Democrat activists. And he’s come out on top in every single one of them. Yet leftists will look anywhere and everywhere to shut down the state’s Republican uprising. The latest salvo comes via a federal district court opinion that charges the Wisconsin legislature with skewing too heavily toward Republicans. More specifically, the GOP is being accused of engaging in malicious district engineering that favors them at the polls.

The court, as attorney Thomas Ascik explains, takes exception to a particular statistic: “In 2012, Republican voters garnered 48.6% of the vote, but secured 60 seats in the Assembly. In 2014, Republicans increased their vote percentage to 52 and secured 63 Assembly seats.” Therefore, the argument goes, the numbers suggest Republicans are gaming the system by flouting the Equal Protection Clause. However, there is virtually nothing concrete to back up these allegations, as Ascik goes on to write:

> The court concluded that the districting plan drawn up by the Republican-controlled legislature had created a voter “efficiency gap” and had caused the Democrats to have “wasted votes” in districts that they won too handily. The court held the Democrats could have used those votes to be more competitive in other districts, and the court was precise in stating the harm caused: there was a “pro-Republican efficiency gap” of 13 state house seats in 2012 and 10 state house seats in 2014. The court attributes almost no significance to the fact that the Republicans won control of the state legislature in the 2010 elections, not the 2012 or 2014 elections, under a redistricting plan put into effect by the court itself.

The author further explains, “Three of the most important cases that the court relied on as legal sources concerned racial, not political, gerrymandering.” Moreover, the evolution of technology creates another problem: “In this era of Big Data, in which every precinct (in every state) has statistics on the exact number of registered Democrats and Republicans, it seems that the result is a foregone conclusion: ‘efficiency gap’ proportional representation. In measuring statewide ‘wasted votes’ for state legislative offices, the efficiency gap does not take into account that voters do not vote statewide. They vote for individual candidates in individual districts. Nor do they necessarily vote by party.”

The bottom line? “The ‘efficiency gap’ and ‘wasted votes’ calculations may sound rather simple, but they are in fact based on sophisticated statistical interpretations by experts involving software models, regression analyses, and ‘S curves.’ That is, unlike the act of voting, they are removed from the comprehension of the vast majority of citizens. So, the new model elections will be decided by these new means. Thus, voting, the first act of citizenship, will be regulated by courts and the experts they give credence to.” And that elicits greater constitutional concerns than anything else.

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