GOP to Control Redistricting

By: Sherene Tagharobi Email
By: Sherene Tagharobi Email

It happens after every U.S. census. But this time around redistricting could mean Michigan loses one of its 15 congressional seats.

"Michigan will diminish in strength and power by losing that one congressional seat," said former House Democratic leader.

It's because over the last 10 years, Michigan's population has shrunk. Losing one district means the remaining 14 will grow in size. And historically, the party in power draws those lines to benefit itself.

"This time the Republicans have clear control of the Michigan House, the Michigan Senate, and the governor's seat. They will control the reapportionment pen," she said.

Like any legislative process, redistricting has to pass both houses of the legislature. That might prove difficult given Michigan's Republican-controlled Senate and Democratically-controlled House. But with control of the House shifting to Republicans, that problem disappears.

"With the results of the election last night, it's likely the legislature will be able to pass a redistricting bill," said Michigan Chamber of Commerce Senior VP Bob LaGrant.

Both parties are guilty of gerrymandering--drawing oddly shaped districts to ensure its candidates win that district.

"You draw districts so that you have clear majorities and then you will stack and cram your minority districts around urban population centers to create the minimal number of pure democratic districts," Byrum said.

Doing that can get a party in trouble. LaGrant says district lines can be challenged if they're unequal in population or otherwise unfair.

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