Michigan

Michigan is a gerrymandered swing state that both parties have won in recent presidential elections. We won the governor’s race, gained 6 seats in the Michigan state Senate and 6 in the House. We also won Proposal 2, and the state will now have an independent redistricting commission.

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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 elected Democrat Gretchen Whitmer to the governor's mansion, won a citizen-led initiative to reform the redistricting process, and won 6 seats in both the Michigan House and Senate.

Know the Races that Impact Redistricting

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
52

Democratic-held
seats

58

Republican-held
seats

1 Vacant seats

Michigan Upper Chamber
16

Democratic-held
seats

22

Republican-held
seats

1 Vacant seats

4 Vote

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

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

You can register to vote for the general election in Michigan up until .

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