Testimony in the civil rights trial in Federal Court in Milwaukee brought against GOP legislators indicates that voters were moved in and out of districts en masse without justification, the Journal Sentinel reports:
In drawing new election districts last year, Republican lawmakers shifted huge numbers of voters into new districts, in one case moving more than 700 times the number of people needed, according to court testimony Thursday.
They could have left the 60th Assembly District in Ozaukee County largely alone because it was underpopulated by just 10 people. Instead, they moved 17,595 people out of the district and put 17,963 people into it. In all, the shift moved 719 times as many people as was necessary, testified Ken Mayer, a University of Wisconsin-Madison political scientist.
The moves also had profound effects for the Latino neighborhoods on Milwaukee's near south side, he said.
There, the new batch of voters in the 8th Assembly District "would simply overwhelm the voting power of the Latino community and severely diminish their ability to elect the candidate of their choice," Mayer testified.
To set the right population levels in the district on Milwaukee's near south side, lawmakers needed to add about 2,800 people. But instead they pulled almost 23,000 people out of the district and added about 25,600 people to it.
The result: Almost half of the people who used to be in the district no longer are, Mayer said. Similar shifts occurred in the neighboring 9th Assembly District.
"They were both in my view radically reconfigured," Mayer testified.