I love my state of Michigan but I am also bewildered by the people in it sometimes.
Scratch that — almost all the time.
I’m sure most of you recall that last year, the United States of America held the every-10-years event called the Census which is to help determine:
- How many people are in the country LEGALLY and maybe illegally.
- How many people are in each state and thus how many people will represent said state in the United States House of Representatives. This also then includes how many electoral votes each state will have for the next couple of presidential elections.
- The state legislatures determine how to break up the districts for federal, state, and local district boundaries for the next election.
Sounds pretty simple, right? Yet, it is not simple, but a rough and tumble process that usually has a clear-cut ending date for those who wish to remain or run for office. They plot out how to run and have an idea by this time of the year where their districts line up and how to gameplan to win. The last time Michigan went through this by this time in 2011, we were ready and set for the midterms in 2012.
Not so fast this time Michiganians.
In 2018, the state adopted a white-hot mess of an idea to take the redistricting out of Lansing and put it into a commission of people who may or may not have ever had to use a paper map to find where they are going. These “randomly” selected folks are now way behind on getting this job completed by the November 1st deadline.
Michigan, don’t you ever change, you magnificent minx.
From The Detroit Free Press…
The first-ever, independent group of randomly selected voters tasked with redrawing the state’s political lines was established after voters in 2018 backed a constitutional amendment to take away redistricting responsibilities from state lawmakers. The commission is seen as a corrective to gerrymandering, the practice of drawing lines to advantage a political party.
I’m gonna take a guess and say that this independent group of randomly selected voters was picked in the same way that Nancy Pelosi picks a select committee on anything. Make sure that you say one thing to the camera and another behind the scenes.
More from the Freep…
Federal law required the Census Bureau to share redistricting data with states by April 1 this year following the conclusion of the decennial count of the U.S. population. But census officials have said that the COVID-19 pandemic, wildfires, hurricanes and civil unrest made meeting that deadline impossible. Census data was released on Aug. 12.
In his complaint, Davis argues that the commission received the data with sufficient time to meet the Nov. 1 deadline.
Since the group began drawing maps, commissioners have repeatedly raised concerns that the process isn’t moving efficiently as the inaugural group has had to work collaboratively to draw lines that consider public input and maps submitted by the public as well as racial and partisan voting data.
The main excuse of course is that the Feds botched the census info coming out but that is not really an excuse. The commission should have already been preparing for two types of scenarios: Michigan does not lose a congressional seat, or we do lose one. Those were really the only two options and yet here we are, one month from the state deadline for this to be done, and we have seen very little progress.
This system that Michigan has adopted is loosely based on a similar one in California and is being executed about as badly as everything in California is. Except for the ineffective Governor with too much hair gel — ours has too much hair spray.
Even if, by some miracle of God, this commission — which has so far shown a severe lack of urgency — were to get this done by the November 1st deadline (today is Oct 1st mind you) there is still the 45-day public hearing portion to contend with. Once the commission completes that task, which would be in the middle of December, and during the holidays there is no way they would have this ready to go until next January. Then, with the inevitable lawsuits of different groups expressing outrage over the non-gerrymandering, gerrymandering from “independents,” we land so close to the candidates’ deadline for filing in April 2022, you can see what a complete mess this is.
The people of this state deserve better than what we are currently being put through on all levels of government. The only way we get that is to start to stand up and demand it in a polite yet firm way. Also, don’t vote for schemes by people who claim to want to deliver independent voices to help us when they are anything but independent. I will get to the next time.