Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission votes to approve new legislative districts.

UP lawmakers say the committee had no representatives from Upper Michigan.
Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission sign
Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission sign(WLUC)
Published: Dec. 29, 2021 at 6:37 PM EST
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Western U.P., Mich. (WLUC) - Michigan’s new political maps have been approved.

For the first time in state history, a commission of Michigan residents voted on the state senate, house, and congressional boundaries. This, after voter 61% approved an amendment in 2018 transferring redistricting power from state lawmakers to citizens. “We went out into the state of Michigan, met with so many citizens, and came up with maps that we could all agree on,” MICRC Republican Member Cynthia Orton says.

The commission thinks the new maps will make the state’s zones more inclusive. “Voting, trust, and being a caring brother or sister to your fellow citizen isn’t always the value, and I think we had an opportunity to reinstill that in Michigan,” MICRC Democratic Member Brittni Kellom says.

However, some U.P. lawmakers, like Republican senator Ed McBroom, say the MICRC did not consider the U.P. at all when drawing electoral boundaries. “This was likely going to be the outcome,” McBroom says. “There would be nobody in the U.P. representing our interests in the redistricting commission.”

The committee extended the thirty-eighth State Senate District to include most of the U.P. The one-hundred eighth and one-hundred ninth State House Districts were also redone. “The removal of Baraga from the Keweenaw community, the stretching from Menominee to the Soo is frustrating people on both ends,” McBroom says.

In a statement to TV6, one-hundred ninth State House District Representative Sara Cambensy says, “the only hesitation I have going into this is that there was no representation from the U.P. on this commission.”

McBroom says some are looking to take legal action against the commission. “There’s already several different entities and individuals who are saying they’re working on their lawsuits,” he says.

The committee says its maps are not illegal. “Do I think we have maps that could stand up in court? Yes,” Kellom says.

As for the future? The commission says state districts could change under different committee members.

If you want to see the new maps for yourself, visit the Michigan districting website.

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