Making Democracy Work

Legislative Redistricting

Add your name to the LWV-AAA list of interested citizens who want to be notified of League events and actions related to redistricting as they become available.

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LWV Michigan is a member of the Michigan Redistricting Collaborative. Check out their website for further information.

LOOKING FOR A SPEAKER ABOUT REDISTRICTING?

Do you belong to a Washtenaw area group (book club, neighbors, hobby, or other) that wants to learn about legislative redistricting? LWV-AAA has teams of trained presenters who will describe how redistricting is currently done in Michigan, what the issues are and what could be done to improve the process. The presentation is educational in nature and not associated with any ballot campaign. To find out more, contact Redistricting@lwvannarbor.org

A Bit of Fun

The Terminator speaks about gerrymandering.

MORE ABOUT THE EFFICIENCY GAP AND THE SUPREME COURT

From the May 15, 2017 NYTimes about the Wisconsin gerrymandering case that is headed for the Supreme Court.

FROM THAT ARTICLE: "...Using computer simulations, Jowei Chen, a political scientist at the University of Michigan, has tried to disentangle any natural advantages enjoyed by Wisconsin Republicans from those created by gerrymandering. He found that it was not hard to draw maps favoring neither party.

FROM THE FEBRUARY, 2017 ISSUE OF THE MICHIGAN VOTER (LWV-MI Newsletter)

Regarding redistricting, LWVMI has received many calls and emails asking about what we are doing on redistricting. The League is committed to educating Michigan citizens about redistricting... We have a lot of materials and a video on the website: http://www.lwvmi.org. There is a lot of education that needs to happen prior to a ballot proposal campaign. The League has not developed or joined any ballot proposal campaign yet. The League does support the establishment of an independent redistricting commission. If anything changes, we will let you know immediately.

SO WHAT IS THE EFFICIENCY GAP?

You may have heard about the Wisconsin lawsuit heading for Supreme Court review. It says the "efficiency gap" proves that current Wisconsin legislative districts are gerrymandered. But what, you wonder, is the efficiency gap? And what might it mean for Michigan?

A recent article in The Bridge (an on-line newsletter published by the Center for Michigan) describes the efficiency gap and what this calculation might mean for Michigan redistricting. Gerrymandering in Michigan is among the nation's worst, new test claims

Amend the U.S. Constitution to limit political gerrymanders? A recommendation by John Paul Stevens, Supreme Court Justice (ret)

U.S. Supreme Court Justice (retired) John Paul Stevens, in his 2014 book "Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution", addressed the problem of political gerrymandering, remarking "...I do not believe any judge has had anything good to say about partisan gerrymanders. There should, therefore, be overwhelming support for an amendment to the Constitution that merely requires federal judges to apply the same rules in cases challenging political gerrymanders that they have applied to racial gerrymanders. (p.43)"
Justice Stevens' suggested wording for an amendment:
Districts represented by members of Congress, or by members of any state legislative body, shall be compact and composed of contiguous territory. The state shall have the burden of justifying any departures from this requirement by reference to neutral criteria such as natural, political, or historic boundaries or demographic changes. The interest in enhancing or preserving the political power of the party in control of the state government is not such a neutral criterion.