Groups hopeful gerrymandering case sparks local talks

NOW: Groups hopeful gerrymandering case sparks local talks

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Will the U.S. Supreme Court draw the line on politicians unfairly drawing district lines?

As the nation’s highest court hears arguments in the case for partisan gerrymandering in Wisconsin, local groups are hoping to put the spotlight on similar practices here in Michiana.

“What they can do is say, ‘ok, let’s get just enough votes to make safe districts for all of our people and spread out the other team so they can elect very few people,” said Elizabeth Bennion, spokesperson for the League of Women Voters.

Groups like the League of Women Voters believe an end to partisan redistricting could give voters more power.

“From the League of Women Voters’ perspective, what it would do is to make sure people are choosing their elected officials instead of having elected officials choose their voters,” said Bennion.

A handful of other anti-gerrymandering groups are keeping a close eye on Wisconsin’s case while continuing to make a case of their own here at home.

“I think what that shows is people have finally had enough,” said Katie Fahey, the president of Voters not Politicians. “They’re tired of partisan bickering and they want to talk about solutions.”

The group Voters not Politicians pushing for a change to Michigan’s constitution.

Their amendment calls for a citizen-controlled system of drawing voting maps.

“For 2018 we have 180 days to gather 315,654 signatures, they to all be registered Michigan voters,” said Fahey.

Fahey says they’re working to give all voters a larger voice because they believe while one party may benefit now, this shouldn’t be a partisan issue.

“What might be helping your party today might hurt it tomorrow, and it’s a simple matter of fairness,” said Bennion.

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