Redistricting Challenges in La Crosse

Reported by Kristen Elicerio |

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LA CROSSE, Wis. – Updated census numbers could decrease the number of government officials in La Crosse county.

Monday, the La Crosse County Board approved a tentative plan that would cut six supervisors from the board.

In the past, La Crosse’s city and county district lines have been the same.

If the county reduces the number of districts, it would make it difficult for city and county boundaries to be
shared.

The reason the city couldn’t conform to country boundaries is because specific rules on where the boundaries can be
drawn.

“The wards have to follow supervisory district lines, and aldermanic district can include three wards if they have
to, or four wards,” said Jeff Bluske, Director of Zoning, Planning and Information for La Crosse County.

La Crosse’s City Clerk, Teri Lehrke, says the need for more wards would increase the cost of elections and gets
confusing for voters.

“It could be the 10th aldermanic district, but it could have five wards in it. Where it gets confusing for the
voters is who is their supervisor, what’s their supervisor number, what’s their aldermanic number, which ward am I in,
which polling place am I in?” said Lehrke.

If the city were to conform to the newly proposed county districts, it would mean four council seats would be lost;
something the council says it’ can’t afford.