Michigan

Michigan is a gerrymandered swing state that both parties have won in recent presidential elections. It is also the battleground for one of the best reform measures in the country. Our electoral targets include the open governor’s seat, the state Senate, the state House, and two down-ballot races.

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How Redistricting Happened in Michigan

The following timeline is a high-level overview outlining major redistricting events and activity in the state of Michigan over the last 10 years.

2010

Republicans won trifecta control of the state, meaning that Republicans won control of the governorship and both chambers of the state legislature.

2011

Census data delivered to Michigan.

Republican-controlled legislature drew and approved new congressional and state legislative maps, both of which were challenged in court as gerrymandered maps.

Republican Governor Rick Snyder signed the new gerrymandered maps into law.

2012

President Barack Obama won Michigan with 54% of the vote and Senator Debbie Stabenow won re-election with 59% of the vote.

Despite these Democratic victories, the new gerrymandered maps helped Republicans gain control of 64% of the congressional delegation and 54% of the state House.

2014

Though Democrat Gary Peters won a U.S. Senate seat with 55% of the vote, the gerrymandered maps gave Republicans 71% of the state Senate.

2017

The League of Women Voters of Michigan filed a federal lawsuit alleging the 2011 congressional and state legislative maps are unconstitutional partisan gerrymanders that discriminate against Democratic voters in order to advantage Republicans. The case is pending.

2018

Voters have the opportunity to elect a Democrat to the governor’s mansion, and to elect Democrats in key down-ballot races, and a citizen-led initiative to reform the redistricting process could be on the ballot.

Know the Races that Impact Redistricting

  • Governor. Governor Rick Snyder is term-limited and cannot run again. This November, Democrats have the opportunity to win the governor’s seat that holds crucial veto power under Michigan’s current laws.
  • State Senate. Half of the state senators are up for election this year. Once elected, they will serve a four-year term, meaning they will be drawing the 2021 maps under current redistricting law.
  • State House. All state House members are up in 2018 and 2020, making this the first chance for Democrats to flip the chamber before redistricting.
  • Down BallotWe’re targeting 2 state Supreme Court seats as this body plays an important check on gerrymandered maps.

1 Know the Decision Makers

The redistricting process is controlled by different elected officials in each state. Knowing who they are and when to vote for them is the key to creating a fairer redistricting process. Both the congressional and state legislative lines in Michigan are drawn by:

  • Governor
  • State Senate
  • State House

2 Know Your State Legislature

Michigan Lower Chamber
46

Democratic-held
seats

63

Republican-held
seats

1 Vacant seats

Michigan Upper Chamber
10

Democratic-held
seats

27

Republican-held
seats

1 Vacant seats

4 Vote

Vote for candidates who will unrig the system. We will have a list of candidates we are supporting later in the year.

 

Primary Election Date: August 7, 2018

General Election Date: November 6, 2018

Learn more about Ballot Initiatives in Michigan

Voters Not Politicians collected approximately 400,000 signatures in support of an initiative to create an independent redistricting commission that would have authority to redraw the congressional and state legislative lines. Republicans are challenging the initiative from even making the ballot this fall. We’ll continue to monitor this important initiative.

Voters Not Politicians

Voters Not Politicians collected 400,000 signatures to create independent redistricting commission.

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Court Cases Impacting Michigan

Currently, there are two active court cases in Michigan. The League of Women Voters of Michigan and individual voters are suing Michigan’s Secretary of State, Ruth Johnson, challenging the state’s legislative and congressional maps as partisan gerrymanders. A trial is scheduled to begin early next year. Additionally, a Republican-backed group has sued to stop a citizen-led ballot measure that would reform Michigan’s redistricting process and take it out of the hands of politicians.

League of Women Voters of Michigan v. Johnson

Read the League of Women Voters of Michigan v. Johnson complaint.

Citizens Protecting Michigan Constitution v. Secretary of State

Read the opinion from the state appellate court, denying the request to reject the citizen petition.

Get Involved in Michigan Today

The fight to fix gerrymandering is right now—and we need your help Michigan! Here’s what you can do:

Join Organizing for ‘18

The National Democratic Redistricting Committee and Organizing for Action (OFA) launched a partnership to build a more fair democracy by strategically targeting legislative chambers, governorships, and ballot initiatives that will be critical in determining how maps are drawn after the 2020 Census.

Join a Local OFA Chapter

Alongside the National Redistricting Action Fund (an NDRC affiliate), OFA is engaging with activists and volunteers to help educate people about gerrymandering and involve them in the process of fixing a badly rigged political system.

Attend Events Near You

The National Democratic Redistricting Committee and MobilizeAmerica have teamed up to bring you the highest-impact volunteer opportunities in Michigan to help elect Democrats up and down the ticket — and bring an end to Republican gerrymandering.

You can register to vote for the general election in Michigan up until October 9, 2018.

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to Vote