GOP loses appeal to stop independent redistricting commission

BY: - April 16, 2020

A U.S. Court of Appeals panel Wednesday denied Republicans’ appeal to halt the independent redistricting commission Michigan voters approved in 2018. Oral arguments in the 6th Circuit were held March 17 and the panel upheld a lower court decision. The Michigan Republican Party, GOP lawmakers and others brought suits claiming the panel was unconstitutional. The […]

Sen. Santana wants to end ‘prison gerrymandering’

BY: - January 28, 2020

Sen. Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit) has introduced legislation that would require the Michigan Department of Corrections (DOC) to report the pre-incarceration addresses of prisoners when providing 2020 census information for district populations counts. Senate Bill 759 aims to end this practice and prevent another decade of “prison gerrymandering” from occurring that she said unjustly awards extra […]

Michigan is expected to lose a seat in Congress. Here’s why that’s a huge deal.

BY: - January 12, 2020

WASHINGTON — Michigan is projected to lose a U.S. House seat in the coming years, new data show — a change that would diminish the state’s influence in national politics and could lead to less money for federally- funded projects and services like roads and health care facilities. The Wolverine State is one of 10 […]

GOP officials appeal redistricting court decision

BY: - November 27, 2019

Michigan Republican Party officials are appealing an opinion by a federal judge that the state’s new Independent Redistricting Commission should be implemented.  Judge Janet Neff on Monday denied the GOP request to halt its implementation and said that the Republicans’ case is unlikely to hold up based on its merits. The plaintiffs in the case […]

The tumultuous life of an independent redistricting commissioner

BY: - November 27, 2019

A warm breeze blew past Colleen Coyle Mathis and her husband, Christopher, as they lounged on the back porch of their Spanish Colonial Revival-style house one evening earlier this month, drinking bottles of Pacifico. Marigold, their 2-year-old Bernese mountain dog, lay at their feet, and the music of Linda Ronstadt hummed in the background. Life […]

Judge allows independent redistricting commission to move forward over GOP objections

BY: - November 25, 2019

Updated, 6:07 p.m. 11/25/19 A federal judge in Grand Rapids has denied a request by several Michigan Republicans to block the implementation of a new independent redistricting commission. In a Monday opinion in the case of Daunt v. Benson, Judge Janet Neff with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan wrote that […]

Benson, lawmakers hold town hall on redistricting panel, voting changes

BY: - November 19, 2019

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and a group of state lawmakers met with constituents Tuesday night to educate and answer questions about voting reform laws citizens passed in 2018. Benson hosted a town hall attended by about 50 people at J.W Sexton High School in Lansing focused on Proposals 2 and 3 of 2018. She […]

Republicans tell Benson they’re worried rural voters will be left behind with redistricting panel

BY: - October 31, 2019

Measures adopted last year by citizens have already improved voter turnout, according to Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.  Benson testified before the state Senate Elections Committee on Wednesday about both Proposals 2 and 3, saying that they will create greater citizen participation in government. Proposal 2 transfers the power to draw state congressional and […]


Susan J. Demas: Infighting, money woes could hurt 2020 progressive change at the ballot box

BY: - September 29, 2019

Last year was a banner year for progressive ballot proposals in Michigan, with measures legalizing marijuana, going after gerrymandering and expanding voting rights all passing easily. And you know it was successful, because the GOP-controlled Legislature promptly clamped down on the process with a Lame Duck law, which a judge last week partly struck down. […]

2nd Republican suit filed to stop new redistricting panel

BY: - August 22, 2019

The Michigan Republican Party has followed other leading Michigan Republicans and filed suit against Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. The suit, filed Thursday in a Grand Rapids federal court, pertains to GOP opposition to a 2018 voter-approved independent redistricting commission that would have the authority to redraw political maps in the state, a task […]