Redistricting Anomalies—Municipal and Ward Boundaries


High Priority



Wisconsin County Clerks
Wisconsin Municipal Clerks
City of Milwaukee Election Commission
Milwaukee County Election Commission


Kevin Kennedy, Director and General Counsel, Nathaniel E. Robinson, Elections Division Administrator


It is critical to have the most accurate municipal and voting district boundary lines possible in SVRS, in order to assure voters are assigned to correct districts, avoid voter and election official confusion, and to have a manageable workflow for clerks during this redistricting process. Through the conversations we have had with local election officials, as well as state and local geographic information specialists, municipal and ward boundaries anomalies have been brought to our attention that directly impact the G.A.B. Redistricting Initiative. This Memorandum identifies these anomalies, provides some examples and a detailed analysis, and provides guidance to help reduce the consequential impact of the anomalies. If you discover that your jurisdiction is affected by these anomalies and you have not already contacted the G.A.B., please be sure to immediately raise it to the attention of Elections Supervisor, Ross Hein.

In preparation to implement the voting districts established after the 2010 Federal Decennial Census in SVRS for the December 1, 2012 release, some geographic information specialists and clerks had contacted the G.A.B. with questions regarding municipal and ward boundaries anomalies resulting from differences between Census data and actual municipal and ward boundaries. On November 18, 2011 and in light of these known anomalies, the G.A.B. provided all clerks with “Redistricting Update #5: Municipal and Ward Boundaries,” which addressed these issues.

Approximately 20 counties have now taken advantage of the G.A.B.’s direction and coordinated the loading of their more accurate municipal and ward boundaries from their county GIS systems into SVRS. This resulted in a dramatic reduction of exceptions that had to be corrected by the municipalities within those involved counties. This Memorandum provides a more detailed explanation of the anomalies and reaffirm G.A.B.’s direction from November 18, 2011  regarding the use of county GIS municipal and ward boundaries in SVRS to minimize exceptions requiring further action by clerks.

Please read the entire memoradum attached above.