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Bridge Michigan
Michigan’s nonpartisan, nonprofit news source

Proposal to end gerrymandering resonated in red and blue Michigan

Feb. 5, 2019: Michigan Republicans defend political maps as gerrymandering trial opens
Feb. 4, 2019: New emails show Michigan GOP used maps to consolidate Republican power
Dec. 6: Michigan Senate GOP moves bills enacting Props 2 and 3, despite objections
Nov. 30: Michigan gerrymandering trial on for February; court cites ‘profound’ bias

For months, Republicans labeled a ballot measure to change how Michigan draws legislative districts a partisan plan by Democratic operatives to seize power.

Turns out, quite a few Republican-leaning counties backed the proposal, propelling it to a resounding victory, with over 61 percent voting yes during this week’s election.

Statewide, 65 of 83 counties backed Proposal 2, including 48 that had voted both for President Trump in 2016 and for Republican Bill Schuette for governor (he lost to Democrat Gretchen Whitmer).

The ballot measure also scored huge backing in liberal areas as well including Washtenaw County, where over 76 percent of voters backed the measure.

But it was also widely supported in deep red Alger County (64 percent; where Trump won by 20 points) and Jackson County (birthplace of GOP; 20-point Trump win; nearly 60 percent in favor of Proposal 2).

Chart: Democrats can thank more educated voters for swinging Michigan seats

Proposal 2 seeks to create fairer districts by letting a citizens commission draw boundaries after the decennial Census, not the party in power, which has been Republicans in 2001 and 2011.

New boundaries could cut into the GOP political advantage that’s been helped by two decades of gerrymandered districts: Despite getting fewer than half of votes statewide on Tuesday, Republicans will remain in the majority in both the House and Senate.

Michigan has some of the most gerrymandered districts in the nation, according to experts and an analysis by Bridge Magazine.

Click on the counties to see how they voted and which way they lean politically.

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