Redistricting Commission finalizing maps, must release Voting Rights Act analysis

LANSING — We appreciate the efforts of the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission to improve their draft map for the state Senate in accordance with the public feedback received during the five public hearings. It is encouraging to see MICRC’s progress in increasing the partisan fairness scores on the draft Senate plan. The Commission must keep working until they create a draft plan with zero political bias and fair representation, including full compliance with the Voting Rights Act.

Compliance with the VRA remains a central issue with the MICRC’s draft maps for state House, state Senate, and Congress. There was an outcry of concern voiced by hundreds of people during the recent Detroit public hearing.

There is a lack of transparency around the data the Commission is using to determine that their drafts are VRA compliant. We have yet to see primary election data, primary voter turnout, or other analysis proving that the districts satisfy VRA and have the ability to elect a Black or Brown candidate. 

“The Commission has kicked the can down the road in producing a thorough analysis of racially polarized voting,” said Lavora Barnes, chair of the Michigan Democratic Party. “As the Commission inches closer to finalizing their maps, we are calling for them to show their work and publicly release their district by district Voting Rights Act analysis. We’re asking for clarity on whether the maps adequately meet the VRA requirements, reflect Michigan’s diverse population, and ensure fair representation especially for Black and Brown voices.”

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