Inside the gerrymandering proposal on the Michigan midterm ballot
MICHIGAN – Those who vote on Tuesday in Michigan will decide on a proposal to end political gerrymandering.
While the term can sometimes be confusing, gerrymandering essentially means that voting boundaries are manipulated in a district.
These boundaries are changed, usually to favor one party over another, and can often be changed to protect an incumbent. Political parties are taking advantage of it.
Non-partisan groups say that gerrymandering can create election results that are unfair or unbalanced.
Michigan voters will see “Proposal 2” on their ballots for the midterms, come Tuesday.
The proposal is something that's been suggested for a while and Michigan has been cited by Princeton University as one of the most gerrymandered states in the U.S.
In 2016, Democrats won more than half the votes in state house races, but Republicans won most of the seats.
The Republican majority redrew district lines in 2010, which many say led to the GOP victories in 2016.
In Michigan, the legislature is in charge of re-districting and the majority rules.
But that's what experts say is causing unbalanced outcomes at the polls.
The wording at the top of the ballot is as follows:
“A proposed constitutional amendment to establish a commission of citizens with exclusive authority to adopt district boundaries for the Michigan Senate, Michigan House of Representatives, and U.S. Congress, every 10 years."
In Layman's terms, the ballot is saying that re-drawing district lines every ten years will not be up to lawmakers anymore.
If voters say yes to “Proposal 2,” it will establish an independent citizen's redistricting commission to be made up of real citizens.
The elected secretary of state will oversee the commission to make sure it runs effectively.