Policy Watch

Fairer Redistricting Initiatives Advance in Michigan and Ohio

Related

Share

Joyce grantees in Michigan and Ohio have played integral roles advancing policy for fairer implementation of legislative districts for all citizens in those states. These policy shifts come at a time when equitable redistricting—the once-a-decade process of redrawing legislative districts in the year following the census—has become fraught with partisan politics nationwide and left many voters potentially disenfranchised.

In Michigan, the new process, shepherded by the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, required map-makers to listen to community input and dismantled the previous process that allowed lawmakers to gerrymander district maps to overwhelmingly favor their party. Lawmakers were excluded from the new mapmaking process and the independent commission created new districts that are no longer skewed to artificially favor one political party over the other. In Ohio, the work of advocates like the League of Women Voters’ of Ohio was paramount in a pair of recent state supreme court decisions striking down as unconstitutional the partisan, lawmaker-drawn congressional and state assembly maps that heavily favored one political party.

The actions in both states still face legal challenges, which is common during the first time using a new process. Several other Great Lakes states, including Minnesota and Wisconsin, are also in the process of proposing new legislative maps that could ultimately be approved by state courts.

Still, while the redistricting process is imperfect, accountability and adherence to implementing policy can serve as strong examples for other states, advocates said.

“My hope is that, as a package, as a whole process, people can see Michigan and us having gone through this entire cycle and having come out the other end so successfully,” said Nancy Wang, executive director of Voters Not Politicians in a recent New York Times story. “that there are going to be pieces of our model that get adopted in other states.”


About The Joyce Foundation

Joyce is a nonpartisan, private foundation that invests in evidence-informed public policies and strategies to advance racial equity and economic mobility for the next generation in the Great Lakes region.

Related Content

News

Poll Gauges Public Attitudes toward Political Violence in the United States

The Joyce Foundation, Trusted Elections Fund, and The Klarman Family Foundation initiated a public opinion research project exploring the public’s view of, and reaction to, political violence and extremism.

News

The Foundation's statement on the Bruen case ruling

The Supreme Court’s ruling today in the Bruen case will make communities across America less safe. A large and growing body of evidence demonstrates that the mere presence of a firearm increases the risk of injury and death.

Webinar

Examining the Rise of Armed Extremists and Militias in Michigan

Recent political violence issues have been on the rise in the U.S. During this webinar, panelists discussed these trends, their implications on democratic institutions specifically in Michigan, and what policy makers might be poised to do about it.

Policy Watch

Fairer Redistricting Initiatives Advance in Michigan and Ohio

Joyce grantees in Michigan and Ohio have played integral roles advancing policy for fairer implementation of legislative districts for all citizens in those states.

Policy Watch

Fairness in redistricting

Michigan residents have a chance to help craft fairer, more equitable legislative districts, and a coalition of nonprofit organizations is banding together to help community groups take advantage of the opportunity.

Grantee Spotlight

COVID-19 Stories: Nailing the Ballot Question

Is 2020 the year of mail-in election ballots? In Ohio, they now sprout from trees.

Grantee Spotlight

COVID-19 Stories: Upping the Census Count

Text messages and grocery store receipts? That was not part of the expansive outreach campaign Joan Gustafson and her partners envisioned when they set out three years ago to persuade more Michiganders to participate in the national 2020 Census.

News

Critical 2020 Census Count Underway

Joyce supporting statewide census outreach efforts across the Great Lakes region, as well as the national Census Counts partnership. Having an accurate census count relates directly to the foundation’s promotion of fair representation and voting rights.