The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission sought to extend a Sept. 17 deadline for redrawing political maps, noting that new U.S. Census population figures would not even be available to it until the end of September.
Democrat Joe Biden carried Michigan by extending his support into the suburbs to withstand a surge for Republican Donald Trump in rural parts of the state. But precinct-level data shows many exceptions, with one sliver of Detroit going for Trump and more of west Michigan favoring Biden.
Republicans in the Michigan House want to award most of the state’s presidential electors by congressional district, an overhaul that would increase clout of rural areas and decrease it in metro Detroit.
For the first time, a nonpartisan commission is redrawing Michigan political districts that have favored Republicans for years. But its deadline to finish the work is being jeopardized by delays in Census population data.
For years, Michigan’s political maps have favored Republicans. A consultant who drew them says that has allowed candidates to focus more on primaries, giving rise to extreme candidates and hyperpartisanship.
Two years after voters approved an amendment to wrest decennial district-making from politicians, the Michigan Secretary of State announces the 13 (mostly) ordinary citizens charged with ending gerrymandering. Most have little political experience.
Michigan’s political districts are some of the nation’s most notorious gerrymanders. But the maps drawn to give the GOP an advantage are facing their final election, complicating the party’s effort to reclaim a majority in Congress and maintain its edge in the state Legislature.