The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) approved its nine collaborative proposed maps and an additional six from individual commissioners for the state Senate, state House and congressional districts earlier this month. The lines will go into effect for the 2022 elections and be in place for 10 years. Now experts are weighing in on the maps as the commission — which is composed of four Republicans, four Democrats and five independents — prepares for another round of public hearings starting in Ann Arbor Thursday. 

Hundreds of Michigan cities and townships are at risk of losing all or a few of their polling places if a provision within the controversial, Republican-led “Secure MI Vote” petition was enacted, according to a new report from Progress Michigan. One provision would limit clerks from utilizing nonprofit properties (churches, places of worship, etc.) that were previously donated as polling spaces unless clerks bought them out. Churches and places of worship accounted for 20% of Michigan polling places in the 2020 election. 

The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) Friday approved nine proposed maps — three each for the state House, state Senate and congressional districts — but have opened the door for potentially introducing new maps proposed by individual commissioners down the road. The question now is if that’s allowed by the Michigan Constitution, and if it is, would those maps be held to the 45-day comment period standard?

The former heads of both major Michigan political parties are joining forces to help Michigan become the next state to ratify a National Popular Vote (NPV) amendment. Former Michigan Republican Party Chair Saul Anuzis and former Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer say it would make elections more fair and democratic by doing away with the current “winner-take-all” system for awarding electoral votes

In Michigan, Republican lawmakers this week introduced a 39-bill package that would ban unsolicited mass mailing of absentee ballot applications, prohibit pre-paid postage on absentee ballot envelopes for absentee ballots, require a photo ID, curb the hours people could drop off their ballots in boxes and require video surveillance of such drop boxes.

Columnist Sharon Dolente writes, “Michiganders want and deserve a voting system that works for all of us, regardless of our race, gender, religion or ZIP code. The eagerness with which communities turned out to vote in 2020 was historic and encouraging. Our elected leaders should follow the lead of the voters of Michigan and build on that success in protecting the right to vote and expanding access to the ballot.”