Voters Not Angry Politicians With Michigan Redistribution Cards | Michigan


(The Center Square) – The group that started the petition that ultimately gave birth to the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Committee (MICRC) is not happy with the maps the committee has drawn.

In 2018, Voters Not Politicians (VNP) pushed the petition approved by 61% of voters to create the MICRC to draw political boundaries instead of ruling politicians. But on Tuesday, VNP cited independent analysis criticizing the MICRC and suggested the group change its proposed card projects.

Michigan State University’s Institute for Public Policy & Social Research published a Analysis of the draft redistribution map which cited concerns about the lack of data to support the Michigan Citizens Redistricting Commission’s attempts to adhere to voting rights law and other constitutionally classified criteria.

“We support the voices of community leaders and independent analysts who are raising serious concerns about the impact of current card projects and their compliance with voting rights law and creating real opportunities for minority communities. elect candidates. Right now, many questions remain open on the cards, ”VNP Executive Director Nancy Wang said in a statement. “We recognize that VRA requires nuanced and factual investigation. For this reason, it is imperative that the MICRC be open and transparent about how it reaches its conclusions and make all analyzes and supporting documents regarding compliance with the Voting Rights Act accessible to the public before any vote and without. assertion of no privilege.

VNP supports a recommendation from the report:

“We recommend that the MICRC reassess its approach to VRA compliance in light of these questions. Since primary data is largely unavailable, they need to assess whether their constituencies are likely to allow preferred candidates to win racially polarized primary elections. If the MICRC decides that its approach to VRA compliance is indeed optimal, we suggest that it accompany its maps with a justification of how the plans comply with the Voting Rights Act and the Clause equal protection of the US Constitution.

MICRC spokesperson Edward Woods III said the two groups used different data sources.

“Unfortunately, the analysis provided by the Institute for Public Policy Social Research at MSU did not match the data used by the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission,” Woods wrote in an email. “We checked and verified again on Monday and all US census blocks were assigned. Thanks to our open and transparent process, this data is available on our website.

Michigan is discovering how messy an independent, citizen-led redistribution process can be. Despite complaints on all sides, a Princeton project gave good marks to some MICRC cards. The Princeton Gerrymandering Project (PGP) ranked five of the seven cards proposed for Congress and the State Senate received an overall “A” rating, while the “Apple” card and the “Cherry” card received ratings. “B”.

PGP gave the three cards to the State House – Peach, Oak, and Pine– an overall “C” grade with an “F” in geographic features because the commissioners divided too many county lines.

Three of the four maps proposed by Congress received an overall “A” rating.

PGP legal analyst Helen Brewer said the newsletters rated the cards based on partisan fairness and minority makeup measures, but not by community of interest.

“These are communities that face similar issues and could benefit from being drawn to the same district, providing them with strong legislative representation,” Brewer wrote in an email. “Especially in Michigan, where communities of interest are one of the criteria commissioners must prioritize, it is important that members of the public testify at public hearings and that redistrictors know where their communities are and why they are. should be preserved in the new maps. “

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