Our take on the new maps

4 mins read

Final Round on Redistricting!

The Commission (MICRC) has settled on its final set of maps, and will be voting on them at the end of December. Now is our chance to weigh in.

How to make your comments count?

  • First, if you can, come to the Public Comment session on Thursday, 10-2 at the Michigan League.
  • You will have just one minute. Make it succinct, and as personal as you can. Do you see your communities reflected well?
  • You can say which Congressional and Senate maps you agree with, then focus on the House maps. Or use your time just for one set.
  • We’ll send more guidance for commenting online after Thursday. We have until Dec. 27 to get good comments in!

Can we call for further revision? Not impossible. We’ll discuss below.

About the Maps

The collaborative maps the Commission has created are named for trees, while the individual Commissioners’ maps carry their names. They hope to vote in a collaborative map, but if none passes in the first round, they will include the individual ones in a Ranked Choice vote. So we are commenting on them as well.

US Congress

Birch and Szetela are the fairest maps.

  • Birch reflects statewide voting patterns very well, and covers many Communities of Interest.
  • Commissioner Szetela’s map is even better, offering the most competitive districts of any proposed Senate map.
  • Chestnut is also acceptable.
  • We don’t recommend Lange.

State Senate

  • Linden is excellent. It has an appropriate split for Ann Arbor, with a connection to Jackson on the northern side and Ypsilanti on the southeast.
  • Cherry is also acceptable.
  • Lange is not as good and Palm is unacceptably partisan.

MI State House

All the maps are quite similar, and really very little improvement over the current map.
Though they do reduce the proportion of wasted votes (the “efficiency gap”) they all still leave a minority party with a majority of the seats, by quite a lot. Partisan fairness requires a much smaller difference.

We can call  for another option– for example:

  • Please Keep Working!  There are no fair house maps to choose from!
  • Each proposed House map gives the majority of seats to the minority of voters!
  • None reflect Communities of Interest adequately.

Or we can call for revisions– they solicited citizen maps, and there are many good ones they could draw on. If they do vote to accept a new submission, the 45 day comment period will begin again. But this would have to happen quickly to stay within the already extended time frame.

However, there are some differences.

  • If you must pick among the current collaborative maps, pick Hickory
  • It’s unfair but the best of all the bad choices
  • Still fails to reflect Communities of Interest adequately
  • Szetela, from the Commission’s Chairis again the best

Both do a good job for the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area, not so good elsewhere.

We are not favorable to Magnolia or Pine, as they contain substantial partisan bias and do not adequately reflect communities of interest.

Again, please excuse the double dose if you are on both of our lists! And spread the word!

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