Every ten years, Michigan redraws its federal, state, and local legislative district maps. This process is meant to ensure that as populations grow and change, every Michigan voter can have equal representation and equal voice in government.

We’re fighting for fair, transparent, and equitable redistricting at every level — advocating for legislation like the Freedom to Vote Act to help end partisan gerrymandering, bringing Michigan residents to testify at public hearings, and telling our mapmakers the story of communities across Michigan.

 

Michigan State Legislative and Senate Districts

In Michigan, both congressional and state legislative redistricting is controlled by an independent commission, not by the state legislature. This means that our mapmakers are more likely to base their maps on public input — not partisan ambition.

This commission is made up of 13 members, and the maps need a 7-member majority to pass, with at least 2 votes coming from each political affiliation.

 

Mapping Criteria

Mapmakers must prioritize:

  • Districts must comply with the provisions of the US Constitution and Voting Rights Act and keep districts reasonably equal in population.
  • Keeping communities of interest and political subdivisions whole.
  • Compactness
  • Maximizing the number of politically competitive districts

Districts may not be drawn:

  • To protect one or more incumbents, declared candidates, or political party.
  • With intent or effect of denial/abridgement of voting rights or vote dilution because of race or membership in language minority group.

Why Redistricting Matters for Michigan

When done fairly, redistricting is a chance for political power to be equitably distributed across different communities, making sure everyone has a seat at the table.

Unfortunately, redistricting has historically been conducted behind closed doors with little to no public input, meaning they don’t have an accurate picture of what our communities look like. 

Even worse, when‌ ‌politicians‌ ‌have‌ ‌the‌ ‌power‌ ‌to‌ ‌draw‌ ‌electoral‌ ‌maps,‌ ‌they‌ ‌manipulate‌ ‌district‌ ‌lines‌ ‌to‌ ‌divide‌ or‌ ‌pack‌ ‌together‌ ‌certain‌ ‌populations,‌ ‌keeping‌ ‌themselves‌ ‌and‌ ‌their‌ ‌party‌ ‌in‌ ‌power.‌‌ ‌It’s‌ ‌called‌ ‌gerrymandering‌ ‌–‌ ‌and‌ ‌it’s‌ ‌a‌ ‌major‌ ‌threat‌ ‌to‌ ‌our‌ ‌democracy.

Key Dates For Michigan 2021 Redistricting

Hearings are being held across Michigan during the month of October. When the commission receives the federal Census data, they use that and public input to create draft maps.

Once these draft maps are released, they hold hearings to get public feedback and revise the maps, before sending a finalized version for approval.

Public hearings will begin in Michigan soon! Join us at an upcoming hearing in your area:

  • Flint, MI: October 11 – Dort Financial Center 3501 Lapeer Rd. Flint, MI 48503
  • Gaylord, MI: October 12 – Treetop Resorts 3962 Wilkinson Rd. Gaylord, MI 49735 
  • Marquette, MI: October 14 – The Northern Center @ Northern Michigan University 1401 Presque Isle Ave. Marquette, MI 49855
  • Grand Rapids, MI: October 18 – 187 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • For additional hearing dates in October, follow the link below!

https://www.michigan.gov/micrc/0,10083,7-418-108477—M_2021_10,00.html

 

Michigan Redistricting Resources

Use these resources to learn more about how you can get involved in fighting for fair districts and stopping gerrymandering in Michigan.