What is redistricting?

Every ten years, following the census and reapportionment, Michigan must draw new legislative Congressional and statewide district maps. Previously in Michigan, state-elected officials were tasked with drawing the maps, and they drew them to protect their own self-interests. This resulted in some of the most gerrymandered maps in the country and actively silenced the voices of voters. Now, for the first time ever, Michigan’s Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) will draw our legislative maps.

Why redistricting is important:

Redistricting is important because the new legislative maps will determine the political landscape in Michigan for the next 10 years. This is an opportunity to ensure that we can elect leaders who truly reflect the diverse communities they represent, and who will champion the issues and concerns of Michigan’s citizens and communities, both in Lansing and in Washington D.C.

Promote the Vote’s commitment to fair, equitable maps:

Organizations in the Promote the Vote (PTV) coalition share a rich history and deep investment in protecting the rights of voters and ensuring that Michiganders have fair, equitable maps. PTV is the only coalition of statewide civil rights organizations collaborating to produce fair, equitable maps at each level – U.S. House of Representatives, Michigan State Senate, and Michigan State House of Representatives. PTV is committed to ensuring that the commission recognizes the rigor and detail that districting entails and understands the duties and responsibilities of their role as mapmakers.

Promote the Vote’s overarching goal is to ensure that Michigan has fair, equitable legislative maps upon which to elect our leaders. Promote the Vote’s Fair and Equitable Maps aim to eliminate wasted votes, because our democracy works best when all our voices are heard.

Promote the Vote’s redistricting project process is guided by four foundational principles:

  1. Meet or exceed Michigan’s constitutional criteria.
  2. Improve upon our current gerrymandered maps, and ensure no retrogression in the number of Voting Rights Act districts
  3. Solicit ongoing input from partners and Communities of Interest, and incorporate that feedback in our redistricting process
  4. Eliminate legislative maps where one political party has a lasting, unfair advantage by aiming for overall partisan fairness

Promote the Vote’s redistricting project process is ongoing. Like the MICRC, our mapping process was impacted by delays in the release of important datasets. That raw data was needed for in-depth analyses around the historical voting tendencies and preferences of Michigan citizens, done by Dr. Lisa Handley. Her presentation, and interpretations since, will influence PTV’s coming map revisions.

How do YOU AND OTHERS get involved? If you believe that Michigan deserves fair and equitable maps, we need you to spread the word and advocate for the principles that our maps embody.