FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 3, 2018
Contact: Elizabeth Battiste
Independent groups file briefs in support of redistricting reform
Voters Not Politicians seeks to solve partisan manipulation of voting maps
Two friend of the court briefs filed today with the Michigan Supreme Court in support of the Voters Not Politicians proposal highlight the problem of partisan gerrymandering and outline how Independent Citizens Redistricting Commissions have been created and implemented across the nation.
“We are pleased to see these briefs affirm what we already know: Independent Citizens Redistricting Commissions have been successful in creating redistricting processes that are more transparent, citizen-driven, and nonpartisan in many other states,” said Katie Fahey, founder and executive director of Voters Not Politicians. “We are confident that the Michigan Supreme Court will take the important information presented in the briefs into consideration before making its determination.”
One brief signed by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-California) and Senator Carl Levin (D-Michigan), emphasizes that gerrymandering is done by both major political parties and highlights the specific ways in which the partisan manipulation of voting maps undermines our democracy.
A second brief filed by the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, which has worked on redistricting ballot initiatives in other states, provides context about how a combination of technology, big data, and increased polarization have resulted in the most unfair district maps in American history, and how the problem is likely to get worse. But, Paul M. Smith, Vice President for Litigation and Strategy for CLC says, “There is a way out. Here, through proper means, the people of Michigan are asking to be allowed to vote on whether to remove redistricting from the partisan political process and deliver it to an independent body proposed by Voters Not Politicians. They simply ask that this independent body be fair and check its work. This is a sensible and proper course to overcome this threat.”
The Campaign Legal Center has been involved in redistricting reform in states where both Democrats, such as Illinois, and Republicans, as in Virginia, have been alleged to have engaged in partisan gerrymandering.
Voters Not Politicians is a nonpartisan, volunteer-driven organization dedicated to passing a state constitutional amendment to end partisan gerrymandering by taking politicians and lobbyists out of the redistricting process and putting Michigan citizens in charge through an Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. Learn more at www.votersnotpoliticians.com.