LANSING - Gerrymandering is the practice of redrawing line in voting districts. Voting districts are the districts created to vote in state and federal elections. Gerrymandering is used in order for those in power to remain in power by manipulating districts.
This practice has been used for many years and has resulted with more republicans in office in Michigan, which is predominately a democratic state. State Senator Curtis Hertel Jr. says this does not reflect the voters choice.
“When you look at the last election for example, just over 50 percent of the people in the state voted for a democrat member for the state house. That does not reflect the actual numbers in the state house," said Hertel Jr.
Although this manipulation of voting districts is a statewide issue, the biggest gerrymandered districts might be closer to home than you think.
“So one of the worst and most egregious examples is right here for all of Meridian Township residents are in fact a part of one of the worst examples of gerrymandering in the state. Our congressional office includes all these areas from Meridian Township in a thin line going way out to Brighton. Thats completely ridiculous," said Meridian Township Clerk, Brett Dreyfus.
Voters in Michigan have taken notice of this manipulation and have decided to do their part in creating an initiative to place a ballot proposal for the 2018 election.
“Michigan has an opportunity in 2018 to put an initiative on the ballot that will take away political parties, republicans and democrats from drawing those lines when they’r in control of the state legislature," said Dreyfus.
This initiative will allow voters to be heard and give them the power they rightfully deserve. However, in order for this proposal to get on the 2018, over 300 signatures will be needed in a 180 day period starting in May.