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. 

After months of hearings on legislation restricting voting rights, Michigan Republicans, as expected, unveiled on Monday a citizen-led ballot measure. The advantage of going this route is that the GOP-controlled Legislature has the power to approve it, thus going around Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who has vowed to veto bills that hit her desk.

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.