Resources:

This is a brief collection of links to news articles and information about Michigan's Court Mandated redistricting.

Last update: 5/18/2019

 

Michigan HD 38 voting change 800w482hDevelopment is driving rapid changes in Michigan House districts' voting patterns -  Graphic: MLive

 

Free Press: May 7 election: New voting rules kick in as 11 communities go to the polls, Kathleen Gray, 5/6/2019

The May 7 election will be the first time Michigan citizens can take advantage of the sweeping new voting rights instilled in our constitution as a result of the Promote the Vote constitutional amendment enacted last fall,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said. “It’s a new day for Michigan’s democracy.”

Washington Post:  A court just dealt a blow to rigged elections. It probably won’t last,  Paul Waldman and Greg Sargent, 5/3/2019

Opponents of gerrymandering — i.e., Democrats — just secured an important victory in a federal appeals court, when a three-judge panel ruled that Ohio’s congressional maps are an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander.

 

“We are convinced by the evidence that this partisan gerrymander was intentional and effective and that no legitimate justification accounts for its extremity,” the judges wrote. “The 2012 map dilutes the votes of Democratic voters by packing and cracking them into districts that are so skewed toward one party that the electoral outcome is predetermined.”

 

“Packing and cracking" describes taking the other party’s voters and packing them into as few districts as possible, so they win overwhelming victories, or cracking them into minorities in districts where the party is then guaranteed to lose. These tactics are how map-drawers “waste” the opposition’s voters, rigging statewide balances of power.

Free Press:  What partisan gerrymandering has cost Michigan,  David Daley, 5/2/2019

MLive:  Michigan Senate appeals gerrymandering ruling to U.S. Supreme Court, Amy Biolchini, 4/30/2019

Detroit News:  Mich. lawmakers caught in middle of gerrymandering order, term limits,  Jonathan Oosting, 4/29/2019

Michigan voters in 1992 approved what amounts to the toughest term limits in the country. The constitutional amendment prohibits a person from being elected to the state Senate more than two times, but says nothing about the length of those terms.

 

“It would seem to me the special election is going to be one of those (two) times,” said Robert Sedler, a constitutional expert and distinguished law professor at Wayne State University Law School. “The provision refers to elections, and not years of service, but that would be up to a state court to decide as a question of state law.”

Free Press:  Republicans have rigged Michigan's last 4 elections. They want to rig one more.  Brian Dickerson, 4/28/2019

As the U.S. District Court panel that struck down Michigan's current political boundaries sees it, Michigan voters have been victims not of their own fickleness, but of an electoral fraud perpetrated by one party's elected officials.

MLive:  9 things Michigan voters need to know about the gerrymandering case,  Julie Mack, 4/27/2019

1. The ruling impacts 15 state House districts, 10 state Senate districts and nine of the state’s 14 congressional districts.

 

The districts called into question for unconstitutional “packing” or “cracking” voters into certain districts in the lawsuit were: Congressional Districts 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12; Senate Districts 8, 10, 11, 12, 14, 18, 22, 27, 32, and 36; and House Districts 24, 32, 51, 52, 55, 60, 62, 63, 75, 76, 83, 91, 92, 94, and 95. 

Free Press:  Michigan's political boundaries under fire: 14 things to know,  Todd Spangler and Paul Egan, 4/26/2019

Directly affected: 

1st, Upper Peninsula and northern Michigan, U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Watersmeet.
4th, mid-Michigan, U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Midland.
5th, Flint, Saginaw, Bay City, U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint Township.
7th, south-central Michigan, U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Tipton.
8th, northwest Oakland, Livingston and Ingham counties, U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Holly.
9th, parts of Oakland and Macomb counties, U.S. Rep. Andy Levin, D-Bloomfield Township.
10th, parts of Macomb County and the Thumb, U.S. Rep. Paul Mitchell, R-Dryden.
11th, parts of Oakland and western Wayne counties, U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens, D-Rochester Hills.
12th, parts of Wayne and Washtenaw counties, downriver, U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn.

Michigan 113th US HOC districts map 800w912h

Washington Post:  Courts can’t solve our gerrymandering problem. Take it from a former gerrymanderer, Henry Olsen, 4/26/2019

I learned the secret craft of redistricting in college and got my first job on the basis of a map I drew for a 1983 California redistricting initiative. Stacking, packing, cracking — I’ve done it, seen it and secretly admired a good practitioner’s handiwork for decades.

 

Both parties pay tons of money for skilled practitioners because good gerrymanders generally work.

MLive:  These are the Michigan political districts federal judges say were gerrymandered,  Scott Levin, 4/26/2019

The ruling found 27 of the 34 districts challenged in the suit violate the plaintiffs’ First and Fourteenth Amendment rights by diluting the weight of their votes, and that all 34 violate their First Amendment right to association. 

Washington Post:  Missouri Republicans want to undo voters’ redistricting wishes. The Supreme Court should take note, Editorial Board, 4/25/2019

Detroit News:  Federal court: Michigan political maps illegally rigged to 'historical proportions,'  Jonathan Oosting, 4/25/2019

The blockbuster ruling — which a legislative leader said Republicans will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court — requires Michigan to conduct special state Senate elections for certain seats next year, cutting in half the four-year terms that current lawmakers are now serving.

Free Press:  Federal panel orders Michigan to redraw congressional, legislative maps for 2020, Paul Egan, 4/25/2019

Michigan's gerrymandered districts, approved by Republicans who controlled both chambers of the Legislature, plus the governor's office, deliberately discriminate against Democratic voters by diluting the power of their votes, Clay wrote on behalf of the unanimous panel.

 

The ruling will only affect the 2020 election because Michigan voters approved a new independent citizen redistricting commission to draw election lines for the 2022 election and beyond, following completion of the 2020 census.

Detroit News:  Shirkey: GOP won’t rule out Nessel impeachment,  Jonathan Oosting, 4/25/2019

A 2020 budget unveiled this week by the Senate GOP proposes a 10% “administrative reduction” for Nessel’s office and other language attempting to limit her discretion in lawsuits.

 

It also proposes funding cuts for the Michigan Department of Civil Rights and Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s office to pay for the creation of a new independent redistricting commission voters approved last fall.

The Senate budget includes $4.6 million to create a redistricting commission but proposes $4.6 million in cuts to Department of State executive operations, property management, legal services, branch operations and election regulations. 

Washington Post:  Republicans boldly explore new frontiers of voter suppression, Paul Waldman, 4/17/2019

 

Michigan US Congressional Districts 11 and 14 800w458h

 

Washington Post: Republicans are anti-voting and anti-democratic, Jennifer Rubin, 4/12/2019

Republicans want more white people to vote and will undermine democracy (i.e., throw up barriers to voting) to get a smaller, whiter electorate. Republicans, to be blunt, have not only become wedded to racism but also hostile to democracy itself.

NPR: Voter Rolls Are Growing Owing To Automatic Voter Registration, Pam Fessler, 4/11/2019

"Automatic voter registration works," says Myrna Perez, deputy director of the Brennan Center's Democracy Program. She says that registrations increased "irrespective of whether or not the state has a history of pro-voter reforms and when they don't. In blue states, in red states, in purple states, in big states and small states, we see an increase."

Brennan Center for Justice:  History of AVR & Implementation Dates, 4/9/2019

In March 2015, Oregon became the first state to pass a breakthrough law to automatically register eligible citizens who interact with the DMV (except those who decline). California — with its estimated 6.6 million eligible but unregistered voters — was the next to pass AVR, adopting the policy in October 2015

MSNBC:  Supreme Court appears likely to leave issue of partisan gerrymandering to states,  Pete Williams, 3/26/2019

MSNBC:  Supreme Court to hear gerrymandering cases against Democrats, Republicans,  Pete Williams, 3/26/2019

Washington Post:  Will the Supreme Court unleash a frenzy of GOP partisan gerrymandering? Paul Waldman, 3/26/2019

Washington Post:  Take it from us governors: Politicians shouldn’t draw electoral maps, Gov. Roy Cooper(D) and Gov. Larry Hogan (R) 3/24/2019

The Supreme Court will soon hear arguments over whether politicians can be trusted to draw up their own districts.

 

Take it from us: They can’t.

 

We are governors from different parties with different views on a number of issues. But on this we agree: Elections should be decided by the voters. Under the current system, politicians devise maps that make some votes count more than others. They rig the system with impunity.

Washington Post:  The Supreme Court should steer clear of gerrymandering cases, George Will, 3/22/2019

Brennan Center for Justice:  Fifteen states and the District of Columbia have already approved automatic voter registration, 3/15/2019

MLive:  Federal case challenging Michigan’s political districts set to go to trial,  Lauren Gibbons, 2/4/2019

Benson had attempted to stall the trial to work out the proposed settlement agreement, which if accepted would have stipulated 11 state House seats - the 24th, the 32nd, the 51st, the 55th, the 60th, the 63rd, the 76th, the 91st, the 92nd, the 94th and the 95th - were unconstitutional and would need to be redrawn by the legislature.

Free Press:  Court rejects SOS Benson's proposed settlement of gerrymandering lawsuit, Paul Egan, 2/1/2019

Free Press:  SOS Benson's modest proposal to right gerrymandering wrongs, Brian Dickerson, 1/27/2019

Free Press:  Gerrymandering settlement would impact 11 or more state House districts, Paul Egan, 1/26/2019 

 

Free Press:  Michigan's proposal 2 explained in less than 60 seconds, Mike Thompson, 11/2/2019

Free Press:  Proposal 2 in Michigan: Pros and cons, what gerrymandering is,  Paul Egan, 

Free Press:  Proposal 2 would end politicians' hold on redistricting | Readers' Opinions, 10/21/2018

Free Press:  Michigan Proposal 2 is unfair to politicians | Opinion,  Bill Kandler, 10/17/2018

Politically Speaking:  Michigan GOP getting hammered by national press for gerrymandering schemes, Chad Selweski, 7/26/2018

Free Press:  How Michigan is an extreme example of gerrymandering, Eric Lupher, 6/24/2018

Free Press:  It's up to voters to fix Michigan's rigged electoral system, Brian Dickerson, 6/24/2018

 

Beligers NoNoNo Campaign Truck 600w451h

 

NPR: Reducing Voters' Paperwork Might Expand The Voter Rolls, Mary Plummer, 4/19/2018

MLive,  Gerrymandering targeted in federal lawsuit filed by League of Women Voters,  John Tunison, 12/23/2017

The Michigan League of Women Voters has filed a federal lawsuit targeting gerrymandering and wants state and federal legislative districts redrawn.

 

"Michigan's current electoral maps were drawn in a secretive partisan process with little discussion or debate before being quickly passed through the Legislature," LWV officials wrote in statement.

 

"The Michigan Legislature intentionally tilted the Current Apportionment Plan heavily against Democrats and in favor of Republicans.

Free Press:  Anti-gerrymandering group defies odds with 2018 ballot drive,  David Eggert, 11/19/2017

LANSING — An all-volunteer group of activists has defied the odds by collecting hundreds of thousands of voter signatures for a 2018 initiative to overhaul redistricting in Michigan — without having to pay a dime for a signature.

 GerrymanderingElbridge Gerry

The Gerry-mander                              Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry

Smithsonian:  Where Did the Term “Gerrymander” Come From?  Erick Trickey, 7/20/2019

Free Press: Gerrymonstered: Free Press Editorial Cartoonist Mike Thompson draws Michigan's congressional districts as monsters, 2017

The map Michigan’s Republican legislative majority drew after the 2010 Census has allowed the GOP to maintain a 9-5 advantage in Congress even when Democratic congressional candidates get more votes statewide

MLive: Partisan redistricting at 'heart' of voter frustration, says Michigan group exploring alternatives,  Jonathan Oosting, 9/23/2015

MLive, Michigan reps call for 'citizen-led' redistricting commission to curb gerrymandering,  Jonathan Oosting, 7/22/2015

The Michigan Constitution of 1963 called for a bipartisan redistricting commission, but the rules it was supposed to use were invalidated by a U.S. Supreme Court decision the following year. Instead, Michigan's redistricting process is now governed by state statute, which can be modified by whichever party happens to hold power in Lansing.