Opinions

Vote* in the April 7 election | Kathryn Kienholz

Leader letters to the editor
Why should you bother to vote in the upcoming Supreme Court election on April 7? Because its results will affect Wisconsin for the next decade and not necessarily in a good way.  
The U.S. census is going on right now, as you know. Next year state legislatures and redistricting commissions across the country will redraw their respective legislative maps. If not drawn fairly, if drawn to favor one party over the other, it will affect the way our states and our country are governed until 2031. 
We in Wisconsin have been subject to unfair maps since our Republican-majority Legislature, behind closed doors and bound by nondisclosure agreements, drew some of the most gerrymandered maps in the country in 2011. 
If Republicans maintain control of the Legislature, thanks to current gerrymandering, they will draw districts that allow legislators to pick their voters instead of the other way around. Those maps will be vetoed by Gov. Evers, and the issue will land in front of the state Supreme Court.
Right now, the court is 5-2 with the 5 being conservative-leaning justices. The incumbent up for re-election, Dan Kelly, is a bought-and-paid-for justice; on Feb. 7 of this year, he received an $18,000 donation from Realtors PAC of Wisconsin. He has received donations from multiple county Republican parties. His campaign office is in the Republican state office. His interests clearly lie with his corporate donors.
Kelly represented state Republicans in a federal trial over a lawsuit challenging the 2010 redrawing of legislative districts and has ties to the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, which has helped defend Act 10. You can guess how he will rule when the new maps come before the court.
Although I refer to Republicans in the preceding paragraphs, this is a nonpartisan issue. Gerrymandering has happened under both political parties. It must stop.
Vote Jill Karofsky on April 7. Then the balance in the court will be as close to even as it can get, and we can hope that one of the conservative-leaning judges will find her/his integrity and ethics and vote for fair maps.
* Vote absentee to avoid crowds. Go to myvote.wi.gov to request a ballot from your municipal clerk. You can do this anytime before Thursday, April 2, but earlier is better. Stay healthy!
Kathryn Kienholz
Milltown


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