Media Center

Body: 
Van Hollen Issues Informal Attorney General's Opinion Explaining How a County Should Respond to a Petition for a Referendum to Reduce the Number of County Supervisory Districts

 

MADISON - In response to an inquiry from Shawano County Corporation Counsel TonyA.Kordus, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen today issued an informal opinion explaining how a county should respond to a petition for a referendum to reduce the number of county supervisory districts when the county is engaged in the decennial redistricting process under section 59.10(3)(b) of the Wisconsin Statutes.

 

Shawano County is in the process of preparing a decennial redistricting plan that is based upon 2010 census data. On March 1, 2011 an elector registered to file a petition to reduce the number of supervisory districts under section 59.10(3)(cm)2.. A petition with a sufficient number of signatures to request a referendum is expected to be filed with the county clerk in April 2011.

 

Kordus asked whether a petition to reduce the number of supervisory districts may be circulated in 2011 and a referendum held on that petition if the county board's decennial redistricting plan using 2010 census data is in effect for the spring election in 2012.

 

Because the county board's decennial redistricting plan is not yet in effect, Van Hollen explained that a petition may be circulated and that the county clerk should accept the petition. Van Hollen further explained that a county's completed decennial redistricting plan has statutory priority over any earlier petition to reduce the number of county supervisory districts.

 

He therefore opined that the county board should not put the redistricting plan requested by the petitioners on the April 2012 ballot if decennial redistricting has been completed by the county board in time for that election.

 

Kordus also asked whether an elector may circulate a petition to further reduce the number of supervisory districts during the remainder of the decade after the spring 2012 election even if the county board's completed decennial redistricting plan using 2010 census data reduces the current number of supervisory districts.

 

Van Hollen opined that under section 59.10(3)(cm)2. after the spring 2012 election a petition may be circulated to further reduce the number of supervisory districts even if the county board's decennial redistricting plan under section 59.10(3)(b) using 2010 census data reduces the current number of supervisory districts.

 

Van Hollen noted that during the remainder of the decade following decennial redistricting the number of supervisory districts may be reduced only once.

A copy of the request for the Informal opinion is available at:

Request

 

A copy of the Informal Opinion is available at:

Opinion