The 2022 midterm elections featured a number of competitive congressional and legislative races across the state, from Traverse City to Midland and from Grand Rapids to Downriver.
Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who won reelection by 11 points, will enter her second term with a 56-54 Democratic majority in the House and a 20-18 Democratic upper hand in the Senate.
With Democrats bucking history and winning control of the Legislature for the first time in about 40 years — as well as a majority in the congressional delegation — it seems clear that the state’s new redistricting process played a role.
In 2018, Michiganders approved a constitutional amendment, Proposal 2, reforming the redistricting process and creating the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC). In the past, the Legislature was in charge of drawing new districts every decade, with the governor’s sign off, which typically resulted in maps that protected incumbents and the party in charge.
But after the 2020 census, the new MICRC — composed of four Democrats, four Republicans and five independents — created new maps for the state House, state Senate and Congress with more competitive districts.
Nancy Wang, director of Voters Not Politicians, which spearheaded the 2018 measure, told the Advance that the “fair maps” produced by the commission “had a dramatic impact on the election results.”
“Voters made their voices heard,” Wang said. “Now that we have a level playing field because of the commission’s fair maps, you actually see the votes of the people translate directly into who was elected on Election Day.”
Wang said that the results of this election were exciting to her because of the number of competitive seats in the state. She also was pleased that election results were not “pre-ordained” by state legislators.
“What we said overwhelmingly was that regardless of who we are, what party we supported, we wanted fair elections, we wanted our votes to matter,” Wang said.
“There’s an entire shift in power because of … who the voters voted for,” Wang added.
This story was originally published by Michigan Advance. Read more here: https://michiganadvance.com/2022/11/23/michigan-redistricting-advocates-tout-new-process-after-first-election-under-new-maps/