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Politics & Government

Grassroots movement aims to put new redistricting process on 2018 ballot

The origin of the term "gerrymandering" comes from a political cartoon from March of 1812. This was drawn in reaction to the newly-drawn state senate election district of South Essex created by the Massachusetts legislature.
J. Albert Bowden II
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Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0
This political cartoon was printed in 1812 in reaction to the newly drawn state senate election district of South Essex created by the Massachusetts Legislature to favor the Democratic-Republican Party candidates of Governor Elbridge Gerry.

If you ask a roomful of voters if they think gerrymandering is an issue, it's a fair bet most of the people would raise their hands, regardless whether they were a Republican, Democrat, or independent.

There are several groups in the state looking at the issue for the 2020 the ballot. The group Voters Not Politicians is not waiting that long. It wants to put something on the ballot in 2018.
Katie Fahey from Voters Not Politicians said redistricting should be in the hands of the people.

"Votes should be counted based on what you want and who you want to elect, and not what political party you're associated with, or that other people think you're associated with," Fahey said. 

There is currently a lawsuit in Wisconsin that's challenging gerrymandering in that state and working its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. So why not wait for that ruling?  

"Even if [that case does] prove that our lines have been drawn unconstitutionally, the courts don't actually provide a solution for how maps... or how districts should be drawn," Fahey said. "And that process will go back to the politicians, who currently have something to gain from the system by designing it in a way that will benefit them. And we would rather see a solution come from citizens and from what the people of Michigan want instead of it having it go back to the people who are currently manipulating the system."

Listen to the full interview above for more.

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