“Redistricting in Michigan: Should Politicians Choose Their Voters?”
The League of Women Voters of Oakland County will host an educational Town Hall on redistricting next Thu., Nov. 12 at the Ferndale Area District Library at 6:30 pm. The presentation will explore how legislative lines are drawn in Michigan, who draws them and why it is a critically important question for those concerned about fair representation.
In Michigan, the district lines are drawn by elected officials in the legislature, effectively allowing politicians to choose their voters and giving the political party in power at the time a tremendous advantage. What are the ramifications of partisan drawn districts that favor one party over another? Is there a better and fairer way to do this? What are the alternatives?
Library Director Jessica Keyser says that many members of the community have expressed a desire to learn more about election reform throughout the state.
“The Library is a natural place for people to go when they want to learn about how to get involved and make a change. The Library is one of the pillars of democracy, and we feel this is the perfect setting to have these kinds of discussions.”
The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision on Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission said there is an alternative and that citizens, not just politicians, have the right to decide how Congressional district lines are drawn. The decision has grabbed the public’s attention. Some have asked if Michigan, like Arizona, should use an independent commission to draw the lines, not only for the Congressional Districts, but for the State House and Senate, as well. This alternative and others will be presented at the Town Hall.
This fall, the League of Women Voters of Michigan will host 30 community based, redistricting education programs across the state of Michigan. All Town Halls are open to the public. Everyone is invited and welcome.