The Director of Princeton University’s Gerrymandering Project says a new independent commission in Michigan presents an opportunity to move past partisan gridlock and represent a wide range of interests. Sam Wang says there are also challenges such as essentially starting a new state agency from scratch.
Graduates Students in Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of International and Public Affairs prepared the report on Michigan’s redistricting commission. Voters approved an amendment to the state Constitution in November that creates the commission to draw the lines for Congressional and state Legislative districts. An interview with Sam Wang originally aired in February.
The Princeton report looks at what criteria the Michigan commission will have to meet and compares Michigan’s redistricting commission with those started in other states. It also includes some possible maps for Congressional districts, and looks at how some state House and Senate districts could be drawn.
Wang says the commission will need to hire experts and get public input. He says the commissioners don’t have to be experts in redistricting, but Wang says it’s important that the members of the commission get to know each other and develop trust. The redistricting commission won’t be established until after the 2020 census.