Michigan’s congressional, legislative redistricting plans officially become law

Michigan’s new congressional and legislative district boundaries became law on March 26, 60 days after the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) published its report on the redistricting plans with the secretary of state. The MICRC had approved the state’s congressional map on Dec. 28, 2021, by a vote of 8-5. The vote approving the plan was supported by two Democrats, two Republicans, and four nonpartisan members, with the five remaining commissioners (two Democrats, two Republicans, and one nonpartisan member) in favor of other plans. As required, the adopted map was 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.”

Writing about the state’s congressional map, Clara Hendrickson and Todd Spangler of the Detroit Free Press said, “According to three measures of partisan fairness based on statewide election data from the past decade, the map favors Republicans. But those measures also show a significant reduction in the Republican bias compared to the map drawn a decade ago by a Republican legislature, deemed one of the most politically biased maps in the country. One of the partisan fairness measures used by the commission indicates Democratic candidates would have an advantage under the new map.”

The MICRC also approved new legislative district boundaries on Dec. 28, 2021. The vote on the state Senate map was 9-4 with two Democrats, two Republicans, and all five nonpartisan members supporting the proposal. The commission adopted a proposal 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 voter-approved constitutional amendment that transferred the power to draw the state’s congressional and legislative districts from the state legislature to an independent redistricting commission.

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