Latino group files lawsuit over redistricting map

    Voces de la Frontera has filed a lawsuit seeking a declaration that Wisconsin’s newly-approved legislative redistricting map deprives the Latino community on Milwaukee’s south side of an effective voting majority in the 8th Assembly district.
    The lawsuit, filed by Voces de la Frontera and Latino community members Ramiro Vara, Olga Vara, Jose Perez, and Erica Ramirez, states, "As a result of the redistricting plan, Latino citizens have less opportunity than other members of the electorate to participate in the political process and to elect candidates of their choice to the Legislature of Wisconsin."
    The lawsuit names five individuals from the Government Accountability Board as defendants: Gerald Nichol, Thomas Cane, Thomas Barland, Timothy Vocke and Kevin Kennedy.
    The lawsuit filed by civil rights attorney Peter Earle also states that the new map violates the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which "precludes the State of Wisconsin from minimizing the opportunities for minority groups, including Latino citizens, to participate in the political process.”
    Voces executive director Christine Neumann-Ortiz said, “The population of the Latino community on Milwaukee’s south side had increased by 44 percent, to the point that it was sufficiently large to support a geographically compact single legislative district with a majority of voting age Latinos who are citizens of the United States.  The Walker redistricting plan reduces that potential majority to just over 40%, and demonstrates intent to deprive Milwaukee’s Latino community of a voting majority by dividing and diluting our community’s vote. This dilution of the growing voting influence of Latinos in our state, along with new voter ID requirements, represents an effort to turn back our state policies to a racist Jim Crow era, which disenfranchised people of color and poor whites from the political process. With this lawsuit, Voces is sending a message that we refuse to go backward, but rather, as the Wisconsin motto says: Forward!"
    – BizTimes Milwaukee

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