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Michigan News

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Redistricting commission defends splitting up Black-majority districts in proposed maps
Michigan Advance, Allison R. DonahueOctober 18, 2021 (Short)

As the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) gears up for the second round of public comments on the approved 10 proposed maps, they say that their maps remain compliant with the Voting Rights Act (VRA) even without minority-majority districts.

However, some voting rights activists have vocalized concern that their maps do not include enough Black-majority or minority-majority districts.

Last week, state Sen. Adam Hollier (D-Detroit) said that of the 10 proposed maps, none of them include districts where the voting age population is more than 50% African-American. The current maps drawn by a GOP-majority Legislature in 2011 have 17 districts that are majority Black — two in Congress, five in the state Senate and 10 in the state House.

“We understand the fears and we definitely hear the concerns. Some of our commissioners have expressed the same fear. So we understand it,” MICRC Vice Chair M.C. Rothhorn, a Democrat, said during a press conference Monday. “We hear the fears of the people and we’re going to address them and we’re going to do that with data.”

The 13-member panel, composed of four Republicans, four Democrats and five independents, was formed after voters passed a 2018 state constitutional measure. Prior to that, the Legislature was in charge of redistricting, with the governor signing off on maps.

The new lines will go into effect for the 2022 elections 60 days after their publication, and be in effect for the next 10 years.

Trump still wants a so-called 2020 election ‘audit’ in Michigan, per state GOP co-chair
Michigan Advance, JULIA FORRESTSeptember 4, 2021 (Medium)

Former President Donald Trump still won’t let go of his 2020 loss in Michigan.

He called Michigan Republican Party Chair Ron Weiser about a so-called audit of Michigan’s 2020 election, according to remarks made by Michigan GOP Co-Chair Meshawn Maddock. It’s not clear when the call took place.

The call was first reported by the Detroit News, which obtained a recording of the 14th Congressional District Republican Committee’s picnic where Maddock discussed the conversation.

Senate Elections Committee passes voter restriction bills
Michigan Advance, Julia Forrest June 2, 2021 (Short)

The Michigan Senate Elections Committee voted on three bills Wednesday that could reform voting procedures to mandate photo identification being presented when applying for an absentee ballot or casting a ballot.

All bills passed 3-1 and moved on to the full Senate.

SB 285, introduced by state Sen. Lana Theis (R-Brighton) requires voters to present their state-issued photo ID with their application for an absentee ballot. Voters who fail to show their photo ID will be issued a provisional ballot to vote.

SB 303, introduced by Sen. Tom Barrett (R-Charlotte) requires voters to cast their ballot with a provisional ballot if they do not have a photo ID with them at the polling station.

GOP-led Legislature axes Whitmer programs, reduces federal COVID funding in budgets
Michigan Advance, Laina G. StebbinsMay 12, 2021 (Short)

After nearly nine hours of session between both chambers of the GOP-led Michigan Legislature on Tuesday, lawmakers wrapped up the day having passed about half of the 17 Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget bills on their agendas.

In February, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced her state budget recommendation worth $67.1 billion for the next fiscal year starting Oct. 1, an increase from the state’s current $62.8 billion budget.

The state House passed eight budget bills Tuesday, including budgets for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) and the Department of Education.

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