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Michigan Maps Praised As Fair Redistricting Model

Blue Welcome to Michigan sign
Scott Nazelrod

In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown ask if Michigan's independent redistricting commission offers a path worth following. Rick Pluta, the politics reporter for Michigan Radio, joins the show.

Ohio V. Michigan

The Ohio Redistricting Commission has until Saturday to come up with new maps for state legislative districts. The Ohio Supreme Court decision said the new map needs to better represent the 54% to 46% GOP advantage over Democrats.

The Supreme Court also rejected the congressional district map on the same basis.

In Michigan, this process seems to have been a little smoother and it could be because Michigan politicians are not involved.

Michigan has an independent commission. Observers and most advocates praise the maps it drew as accurately representing the reality that Michigan is pretty evenly split between Democrats and Republicans.

The Princeton Gerrymandering Project calls Michigan’s process “the quintessential success story of redistricting.”

In rejecting Ohio’s maps, Ohio Supreme Court Justice Maureen O’Connor praised Michigan and other states’ independent commissions and suggested Ohio voters may want to look north to end partisan gerrymandering.

Despite all the praise for Michigan's maps, their results are also facing several legal challenges.

Snollygoster Of The Week

Last week, Warren Davidson was criticized for his cringe-worthy tweet comparing COVID protocols to the Holocaust. Since then, Davidson tweeted a bunch of words about why it seemed like a good idea at the time, then ended the tweet with “I appreciate my Jewish friends who have explained their perspectives and feel horrible that I have offended anyone. My sincere apologies."

Send questions and comments to snollygoster@wosu.org.

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