Michigan citizen redistricting commission approves new legislative maps

The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) approved new district boundaries for both the state Senate and state House of Representatives on Dec. 28, 2021. The maps will become law 60 days after the MICRC publishes a report on the redistricting plans with the secretary of state and will take effect for Michigan’s 2022 state legislative elections.

The commission approved what was known as the “Linden” map for state Senate districts by a vote of nine to four with two Democrats, two Republicans, and all five nonpartisan members supporting the proposal. The commission adopted what was known as the “Hickory” map for state House of Representatives districts by a vote of 11-2 with four Democrats, two Republicans, and all five nonpartisan members supporting it. 

The MICRC was established after voters approved a 2018 constitutional amendment that transferred the power to draw the state’s congressional and legislative districts from the state legislature to an independent redistricting commission. In addition to being supported by a majority of commissioners, redistricting proposals must be approved by at least two commissioners who affiliate with each major party, and at least two commissioners who do not affiliate with either major party.

Clara Hendrickson wrote in the Detroit Free Press that, “The [Senate] map appears to create 19 solidly Democratic districts, 16 solidly Republican districts, one Republican-leaning district and two toss-up districts, according to election results from the past decade.” She also wrote that the House “map appears to create 41 solidly Democratic districts, 46 solidly Republican districts, nine Democratic-leaning districts, two Republican-leaning districts and 12 toss-up districts.”

As of Jan. 3, 27 states have adopted new state legislative maps for both chambers, one state adopted a map for one chamber, one state has adopted maps that have not yet gone into effect, and 21 states have not yet adopted state legislative maps. As of Jan. 3, 2012, 32 states had enacted legislative redistricting plans after the 2010 census.

Nationwide, states have completed legislative redistricting for 1,078 of 1,972 state Senate seats (54.7%) and 2,776 of 5,411 state House seats (51.3%).

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