Michigan Redistribution Board Approves US House Legislative Maps | News, Sports, Jobs
LANSING, Michigan – Michigan’s new Redistribution Commission on Tuesday approved the maps of Congress and laws, ones that are fairer to Democrats than when the process was controlled by the Republican-led legislature for the past two decades.
The historic votes capped months of work by the 13-member panel, which voters created to end partisan gerrymandering.
“It truly is a day that defines history. We have adopted fair cards that are fair to both parties and fair to the people of Michigan. It’s a big problem “, said Commissioner Anthony Eid, one of five members not affiliated with any of the major political parties. The commission of citizens who were randomly selected as a result of a candidacy process also includes four Democrats and four Republicans.
In the United States House delegation, there could be 7-6 divisions in favor of either party if it is close statewide, with three very competitive seats in the regions of Grand Rapids, Lansing and Flint / Saginaw.
The battle for a majority in the State Senate, where the GOP has a 22-16 advantage due to gerrymandering despite Democrat Gretchen Whitmer winning the governorship by almost 10 points in 2018, will become much. tighter.
According to the current map, Republicans would gain 15.2% more seats in a hypothetical tie election. Their advantage drops to 2.8% under the new plan based on analysis of election data from 2016, 2018 and 2020, according to PlanScore, a non-partisan Campaign Legal Center project. The GOP has controlled the chamber for almost 40 years.
The State House card, where Republicans have a 58-52 advantage, will also be fairer to Democrats. PlanScore projects a potential GOP advantage of 56-54 if Republicans get 49% of the vote.
“It shows that the Michiganders can come together across party lines to defend democracy – an important lesson for our nation and a reason to celebrate.” said Nancy Wang, executive director of Voters Not Politicians, which organized an election campaign in 2018 that changed the state’s constitution.
The cards will likely face a legal challenge from black Democrats, as the state would no longer have two majority minority congressional seats in and around Detroit, and there would be fewer such seats in the legislature. . Commission lawyers say federal suffrage law requires African-American voters to be given the opportunity to elect any candidate they want, not that there be districts where black people represent more than 50 people. % of the population of voting age. They represent about 44% of the population in the two new seats in the United States House.
Jonathan Kinloch, chairman of the 13th Congressional District Democratic Party organization, issued a statement ahead of the vote calling the proposed cards for consideration a “A serious step backwards, limiting the voice of African Americans and this is unacceptable”.
Michigan Republican Party spokesman Gustavo Portela said he was “Evaluate all the options to take the necessary measures to defend the voices silenced by this commission”.
The Congress card, which brings together several holders, has led many to announce their plans.
Second-term Democrats Andy Levin of Bloomfield Township and Haley Stevens of Waterford Township will go head-to-head for Oakland County’s new, more Democratic 11th district – leaving the Republican-leaning 10th open in neighboring Macomb County.
Fifth-term Democratic representative Dan Kildee of Flint will run in the 8th competitive district, while fourth-term Republican representative John Moolenaar of Midland will run for office in the strong-majority Republican 2nd district in the west .
Second-term Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin from Holly will run for the 7th Lansing Area Competitive District. Republican State Senator Tom Barrett is also running.
Democratic state representative Shri Thanedar, a former gubernatorial candidate, said he would spend at least $ 5 million of his money fighting for the 13th district, which includes much of the Democratic stronghold of Detroit. He is currently represented by second-term representative Rashida Tlaib.
Fourth-term Democratic representative Debbie Dingell will run in the heavily Democratic-dense 6th district of the Ann Arbor area, saying it comprises 60% of its voters but not her hometown of Dearborn.
In western Michigan, first Republican Rep. Peter Meijer of Grand Rapids will look for Competitive 3rd District, which is bluer. GOP representatives Fred Upton of St. Joseph in his 18th term and Bill Huizenga of Holland Township in his sixth are now in the same Republican-leaning 4th district. Huizenga will do so. Upton’s plan was not immediately known.
Tuesday’s votes came nearly two months behind schedule due to a pandemic-related delay in census data. The commissioners, who have resisted pressure from public commentators to revise the maps – potentially starting a new 45-day feedback period – said they wished they had more time.
“Are they perfect? No. But we did the best we could with the time and whatever we were given. We have compromised ”, said Cynthia Orton, a Republican member.
Eight of the 13 commissioners supported the Congress card, nine supported the State Senate card, and 11 approved the State House card.