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Michigan redistricting: Mapmakers finalize new metro Detroit House map

 attendee looking at maps
An attendee at a recent redistricting public hearing in Detroit considers several options for new metro Detroit state House districts. Seven existing House districts were scrapped by a federal court, where judges determined the commission improperly used racial data to draw maps. (Bridge photo by Lauren Gibbons)
  • Michigan’s independent redistricting commission voted 10-3 to approve a revised map for Detroit-area state House districts
  • Redrawing process came after metro Detroit voters successfully argued the commission improperly used racial data to draw maps
  • Federal three-judge panel will have final say, could choose another map by court-appointed expert

A new southeast Michigan state House map approved by the state’s redistricting commission Wednesday would keep more Detroit-based districts within city limits and increase Black majorities in several state House seats. 

The new map — which still needs approval from a federal three-judge panel to take effect — aims to address a court order that invalidated seven state House districts on grounds that commissioners improperly used racial data to dilute the power of Black voters.


Six state Senate districts also thrown out by the court will be dealt with later this spring.

It took two rounds of voting for the final product to clear the commission, where any map must have support from at least two Republicans, two Democrats and two independents to pass. 


Ultimately, 10 of the 13 commissioners agreed on a revised map to submit for court review, labeled “Motown Sound FC E1,” an option favored by many Detroit residents and advocacy groups who spoke out during recent public hearings.  

What the new map would do 

Unlike the current state House map, districts approved by the commission Wednesday largely adhere to county and municipal boundaries, with only four Detroit districts extending out of Wayne County into Oakland and Macomb counties. 

Currently, nine districts containing portions of Detroit extend well into the northern suburbs. Detroiters contended those districts diluted their vote by extending from the city far into suburbs. 

The proposed drafts remedy that by generally clustering districts in the city, creating the possibility of more Detroit residents and Black elected officials in the Legislature in future sessions. 

people looking at maps
Redistricting Commissioner Anthony Eid, a nonpartisan member of the 13-member panel, speaks with Detroit-area residents about the proposed map changes. (Bridge photo by Lauren Gibbons)

The latest configuration, largely drawn without the use of racial data, also boosts Black majorities in areas where critics of the redistricting process said commissioners kept the Black voting age population artificially low. 

According to data provided by the commission, 11 Detroit-area districts would have majority-Black voting age populations in primary election contests under the new map. 

Commission data indicates the state’s partisan balance wouldn’t change much under the proposed configuration, giving Democrats an edge in 60 of the state’s 110 House seats. 

A Bridge Michigan analysis of several draft maps considered by the commission found the modified districts generally lean Democratic, but some by significantly smaller margins, which could jeopardize the narrow majority Democrats currently hold in the chamber.

What happens now

Barring intervention by the U.S. Supreme Court, metro Detroiters will have new state House districts in time for the 2024 election cycle. 

The court plans to consider the commission’s redrawn districts this spring, but left open the fallback option of using a different map drawn by a court-appointed expert if judges determine the commission didn’t get it right.

The commission still maintains that the original maps met constitutional muster, and are appealing the lower court’s order. But the Supreme Court denied a request to pause the remapping process, meaning a new map could be in place before justices rule on the validity of the old ones. 

 attendee speaks to people sitting at a table
An attendee at a recent redistricting public hearing in Detroit addresses the commission. (Bridge photo by Lauren Gibbons)

Impacted districts

If the commission’s map is approved by the court, the changes would take effect in time for the 2024 election cycle and 14 House districts would have new boundaries starting in 2025. 

The new map makes changes in districts beyond the seven directly named in the court order, but the court gave commissioners leeway to tweak nearby districts if it was necessary to come into compliance. 

Districts that would see changes under the new map include:

  • House District 1, currently represented by Rep. Tyrone Carter, D-Detroit
  • House District 2, currently represented by Rep. Tullio Liberati, D-Allen Park
  • House District 3, currently represented by Rep. Alabas Farhat, D-Dearborn
  • House District 4, currently represented by Rep. Karen Whitsett, D-Detroit
  • House District 5, currently represented by Rep. Natalie Price, D-Berkley
  • House District 6, currently represented by Rep. Regina Weiss, D-Oak Park
  • House District 7, currently represented by Rep. Helena Scott, D-Detroit
  • House District 8, currently represented by Rep. Mike McFall, D-Hazel Park
  • House District 9, currently represented by Rep. Abraham Aiyash, D-Hamtramck
  • House District 10, currently represented by House Speaker Joe Tate, D-Detroit
  • House District 11, currently represented by Rep. Veronica Paiz, D-Harper Woods
  • House District 12, currently represented by Rep. Kimberly Edwards, D-Eastpointe
  • House District 13, currently vacant
  • House District 14, currently represented by Rep. Donavan McKinney, D-Detroit

Timeline for redrawing state House maps

A federal three-judge panel in December ordered the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission to redraw 13 House and Senate districts in the metro Detroit area. 

Here’s the current timeline the court set for completing that process and 2024 election dates.

  • March 1: Commission deadline for submitting final House map to court
  • March 8: Plaintiffs file any objections to plan with court
  • March 15: Court-appointed expert submits review of the commission’s work
  • March 29: Court date set for implementing new House maps. Judges left open the option of using a plan drawn by a court-appointed expert if they deem the commission’s work insufficient
  • April 12: Court reconvenes to determine next steps on redrawing state Senate maps
  • April 23: Filing deadline for candidates in new state House districts
  • Aug. 6: Michigan primary election
  • Nov. 5: Michigan general election

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