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redistricting

people in voting booths
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Department of State announced on Tuesday that it has processed the first 1,000 successfully completed and notarized applications for the new 13-member Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. 

According to Jake Rollow, the department's Director of Communications, these applications were submitted between October 24 and November 30, 2019.

Registered voters have until June 1, 2020 to submit applications.

people in voting booths
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

250,000 randomly selected Michigan voters will be getting an application in the mail in the next few days.  They're being invited to apply to serve on the state's citizen redistricting commission.  

Voters approved the anti-gerrymandering Proposal 2 in 2018. This changes who redraws district boundaries for the state legislature and Congress every ten years based on the U.S. Census. 

A map of Michigan's Congressional districts.
Wikimedia Commons

Today on Stateside, a federal judge delivered a setback to Michigan Republicans suing to stop the state from moving forward on a voter-approved redistricting commission. Plus, why the old political belief that urban voters swing Democratic and the suburbs vote Republican is changing.

Invitations will soon be in the mail asking voters to apply to be part of Michigan’s new redistricting commission.

The Michigan Secretary of State has been handed a list of 250,000 randomly selected voters. They will be asked to apply for a position on the commission. The commission will be in charge of drawing political district lines.

People can also apply to serve whether or not they receive a letter.

People can now apply to be on the state's new 13-member Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced the launch of the online application process Thursday.

US Supreme court building with flag in front
Bill Chizek / Adobe Stock

The U.S. Supreme Court says the Michigan Legislature does not have to immediately draw new congressional and legislative district lines. That decision was expected after the Supreme Court rejected efforts in other states to redraw boundaries.

$100 bills
Tomasz Zajda / Adobe Stock

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has been presented a budget by the state Legislature, but one area where Whitmer might have an issue with the budget is the state’s new redistricting commission.

Last November, Michigan’s voters approved a ballot initiative to create an independent redistricting commission. That commission costs money, for example to pay the salaries of the board members.

Bill Lovis stands to left of Inca mummy
Michigan State University

Today on Stateside, we hear about a lawsuit, filed by the Michigan Republican Party, that aims to block an independent commission from redrawing legislative maps. Plus, we talk about the tough ethical choices people face when trying to do something about climate change.

straight-party voting
Lars Plougmann

Republicans in Michigan filed another lawsuit to stop the redistricting commission. The Michigan Republican Party says the state’s new redistricting commission is unconstitutional.

A detail Michigan congressional district maps drawn in 2011.
Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson are asking a federal judge to toss a challenge to the state’s new redistricting law.

They say restrictions on who can serve on the new redistricting commission are legal.

Flickr user Joe Gratz / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The group Voters Not Politicians has filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit filed last month by state Republicans.

The lawsuit seeks to shut down Michigan's new redistricting commission. The suit says the rules outlining who can serve on the commission are unconstitutional.

a map of Michigan's 13th Congressional district
Federal Election Commission

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says she’s looking to the Legislature to provide enough money to ensure the new state redistricting commission can do its job.

The amendment approved by voters last November provides some money, but Benson says she wants money to recruit commission members from all walks of life.

People holding signs advocating for the Voters Not Politicians ballot initiative that was passed last November.
Photo courtesy of Voters Not Politicians

In 2018, Michiganders voted to pass Proposal 2, a redistricting amendment that would create an independent commission to draw legislative and congressional district maps. Voters Not Politicians, the nonprofit organization that collected signatures to get the amendment on the ballot, is now taking steps to form that commission.

Prior to Prop 2, whichever party was in control in Lansing was responsible for drawing district maps.

congressional map of Michigan
Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Some wild stuff is about to go down in Michigan politics, and it all has to do with maps.

Normally, the maps that mark political districts get redrawn every 10 years.

But now there’s a good chance in Michigan the maps will get redrawn twice just in the next two years.

congressional districts map of Southeast Michigan
Michigan House of Representatives

Michigan’s top elections official says the Legislature should act quickly to draw new maps for legislative and congressional districts.

A federal court struck down Michigan’s district maps as too partisan. The court ruled Michigan’s lines provide an illegal advantage to Republicans in many districts. Republican leaders in the Legislature say they will appeal the ruling.

congressional districts map of Southeast Michigan
Michigan House of Representatives

Was the last re-drawing of Michigan’s political district maps so biased in Republicans’ favor, they were illegal?

Morgan McCaul
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, General Motors is set to keep receiving tax breaks from the state of Michigan until 2029. That's in spite of the company's recent decision to cut thousands of jobs and shut down production at two plants in the state. Plus, a co-author of this year's National Climate Assessment shares how climate change is projected to impact Michigan and the Midwest in coming decades. 

People holding signs advocating for the Voters Not Politicians ballot initiative that was passed last November.
Photo courtesy of Voters Not Politicians

A group promoting a ballot initiative to redraw Michigan's voting districts got an unexpected boost with a $250,000 contribute from a national group. The funds came from the National Redistricting Action Fund, an affiliate of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, which is headed by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. 

Michigan Truth Squad: A video attacks Michigan redistricting proposal

Sep 6, 2018

The Michigan Freedom Fund, a conservative advocacy organization, promotes an online video, paid for by recently-formed committee Protect My Vote, that asks voters to reject the Voters Not Politicians ballot initiative that would make a citizens’ commission responsible for redrawing district lines, instead of the legislature.

michigan hall of justice building
Wikimedia Commons

An initiative to change how Michigan draws its political boundaries is headed for the November ballot.

In a 4-3 ruling late Tuesday night, the Michigan Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit challenging a redistricting ballot proposal.

The Michigan Supreme Court opens its 2012 session this week.
Subterranean / Flickr

The Michigan Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in a challenge to a proposed November ballot initiative to change who draws congressional and legislative districts every decade.

Ballots
Flicker / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 


Last week, two more business organizations formally launched challenges to proposals headed for the ballot this November. 

 

Michigan Supreme Court

The Michigan Supreme Court will hear arguments this week about whether a redistricting measure can go on the November ballot. It’s the last stop for the contentious proposal.

A Republican and business-backed group called Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution disputed the proposal. They said the measure is a complete overhaul of the Constitution.

Dave Doyle is a spokesperson for the group.

“It creates in a sense, a fourth branch of government. So that’s a wholesale rewrite of the Constitution,” he says.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Some supporters of an anti-gerrymandering ballot proposal are targeting the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, and particularly board chairman Mark Davidoff, over the Chamber’s support for a lawsuit that aims to get the proposal removed from the November ballot.

Vote Here sign
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for a lawsuit about a ballot proposal to change how Michigan draws political districts.

Voters Not Politicians is the group behind the measure, which would put a 13-member commission in charge of redistricting, instead of the state Legislature. It says the proposal meets all the requirements of a voter-initiated constitutional amendment. But a group opposed to the measure, Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution, disagrees. It says the proposal goes beyond what’s allowed for this type of ballot proposal.

A group trying to get a redistricting measure on the November ballot says arguments against the measure by the state Attorney General are redundant.

Schuette submitted a brief to the Michigan Supreme Court – it’s currently deciding if it will look at a court case filed by a group that wants to keep the proposal off the ballot. This comes after a 3-0 decision by the Michigan Court of Appeals that ordered the state’s election committee to send the proposal to the ballot.

Rick Pluta / MPRN

A state elections board has complied with a court order to place a question on the November ballot.  It would change how congressional and legislative district boundaries are drawn.

A jubilant crowd broke out in cheers as the Board of State Canvassers voted to put the Voters Not Politicians question on the November ballot. Voters Not Politicians leader Katie Fahey says the group has already started voter outreach efforts.

“We are eager and excited to go fixing our state,” she said. “…We look forward to being in the November 6, 2018, ballot.”

The proposal to change how Michigan draws the lines for congressional and legislative districts is about to go on the ballot. But, will it stay there?

The question to create an independent commission to handle the job of redistricting is poised to become Proposal 2 on the November ballot. The group that gives the OK to what questions make it on the ballot meets Wednesday.

Update, June 13 at 10:30 a.m.:

The group Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution has filed an appeal with the state Supreme Court and asked the justices to put an immediate hold on the lower court decision that would place the question on the November ballot.

Judge's gavel with books on a desk
Pixabay.com

A proposal to change the way the state draws its political district lines must go on the November ballot. The Michigan Court of Appeals denied a request to keep a measure by the group Voters Not Politicians off the ballot.

The opposition group, Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution, said the redistricting proposal was essentially a redrafting of the state Constitution. 

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