‘Near ideal’ -- How Michigan, other states do on MSU’s Partisan Advantage Tracker

Published: May. 25, 2022 at 12:00 PM EDT
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Gerrymandering, committees and majority parties. Those are some of the ways, bad and good, that our congressional districts are drawn. But how fair are these maps?

Now, Michigan State University (MSU) professors say they have a new tool that can help track that.

The U.S. Congressional District maps determine how many seats each party gets in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Since a variety of methods are used for drawing districts, MSU Professor John Eguia wanted to see how fair each method is.

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Professor Eguia said, “There is a lot of controversy now in many states about these issues of partisan fairness, about whether commissions work better or worse. In Michigan we just changed the constitution on this very topic, and now we have a commission.”

The website shows how the methods compare, and how fair the maps are for each party.

“If you look at the Michigan results, they are very good,” Professor Eguia said. “Regardless of the measure you take, the results are near ideal, it’s one of the best states.”

Lansing’s Election Clerk, Chris Swope, said he believes Michigan is on the right track generally.

Swope said, “You know, I think we’re headed down a path towards a more fair Michigan.”

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The fairness tracking website shows a similar reality for Michigan, even if some of its districts are imbalanced. But, because not all states draw districts with a bi-partisan commission, which Swope credits for Michigan’s fairness.

“I think having that assessment of fairness is really important,” he said.

In districts that are less fair Swope says some politicians, “Don’t even talk to voters of the other political party to get their input and you know everybody has good ideas.”

Professor Eguia said, “So it was a desire to change that conversation and the public understanding so that we can see what’s fair and what isn’t and when it’s not fair which party is getting an advantage.”

MSU Partisan Advantage Tracker 2022 state comparison.
MSU Partisan Advantage Tracker 2022 state comparison.(WILX)

MSU’s Partisan Advantage Tracker is available on the linked website.

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