Movement underway to reverse effects of gerrymandering - WNEM TV 5

Movement underway to reverse effects of gerrymandering

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A movement is underway to reverse the effects of gerrymandering as people question the integrity of the districts they’re divided up into.

“Democrats have taken advantage of it, and Republicans have taken advantage of it. And this process would take it right out of their hands,” said Tom Baird, a Bay City resident.

It is called Gerrymandering and it is an issue that can chance the political landscape in the blink of an eye. Now, one group is trying to put an end to it.

“Redistricting reform has been something that’s been on my radar for a long time because I’ve seen the effects of gerrymandering in this state,” said Jackie Doig with Voters Not Politicians.

Voters Not Politicians is behind a push to put an end to gerrymandering. Doig said the problem is politicians have all the power to redraw the lines, making up districts, and she said they use that power to benefit themselves and their party.

However, this group is traveling the state making presentations and hoping to get support to end gerrymandering forever.

They hope to get a proposal on the ballot in 2018 to that would amend the constitution, creating an independent commission made up of four republicans, four democrats and five independents to draw the maps.

“It would prevent interference with other branches of government. It would require public hearings, open meetings, and a report explaining how the final maps were drawn,” Doig said.

Barbara Hulon sat in on the group’s presentation Wednesday and said she thinks it is a good idea.

“I think it’s good for everyone. It’s a non-partisan issue. Even if you like the person that’s in power even if you didn’t vote for them, they’re not doing their job because they’re not answering to the voters because they know they’re going to get reelected automatically,” Hulon said. 

The group said they need 319,000 signatures to get the proposal on the ballot. 

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