The current system is rigged in favor of special interests
Why? Because politicians and lobbyists meet behind closed doors to draw their own election district maps. It’s called gerrymandering, and Michigan is home to some of the most gerrymandered districts in the country, like the ones below:
Every 10 years, politicians and their highly paid consultants use big data and advanced computer algorithms to handpick their own voters. This allows politicians to manipulate elections to give them and their party an unfair advantage for the next decade of elections.
This all happens behind closed doors, where only a handful of lobbyists and special interests are invited to participate. These select few make secret, backroom deals where they trade voters for votes. The lobbyists and special interests fund highly complex and corrupt redistricting plans to keep the politicians they control in power. This influences politicians to follow the will of special interests instead of the will of the people.
Voters should choose their politicians, not the other way around. In Michigan, our politicians choose their voters.
The current system lets politicians, lobbyists, and special interests meet behind closed doors where they can make backroom deals at the expense of Michigan voters. When politicians choose their voters, our votes don’t matter, and our voices aren’t heard. As voters, we’re hurt the most by gerrymandering. Here’s why:
- Our votes don’t count, and we don’t have a voice. Politicians no longer count on our votes to get elected. They profile voters with precise data to guarantee just enough votes for re-election. When voters don’t get to choose their politicians, politicians have all the power. This results in inattentive and ineffective politicians who don’t represent their voters.
- Our representation is unbalanced. The majority party in power in Michigan is able to turn 50% of the vote into almost 70% of the elected positions. There is an imbalance between the overall preferences of Michigan’s voters and their representation in government and both parties take advantage when they get the chance.
- Our choices are limited. In the 2016 election, zero congressional seat elections were determined by a margin of victory less than 10%. That’s because politicians pack their opponent’s voters into as few districts as possible and spread the remaining voters across the rest. This gives us uncompetitive elections where incumbents win year after year, giving voters fewer options for new voices or new ideas.
- Our state becomes divided. When we are divided into districts heavily populated by one party, we find ourselves in echo-chambers of political opinions. Our politicians are able to lean heavily to each side of the spectrum, leading to more polarization where a party's needs are more important than the voters' needs. This leads to gridlock and ineffective decision-making in Lansing and Washington D.C.
It’s time WE draw the line.
The current system is rigged, but we can change that. Nearly half a million Michigan voters signed a petition to put Proposal 2 on the November 6, 2018 ballot. Proposal 2 creates a fair, impartial, and transparent redistricting process that will put an end to gerrymandering in Michigan. Click here to learn more about Proposal 2.