Weekly Update: June 27, 2024
Voters Not Politicians
by Melinda Billingsley
2w ago
The Headlines Late yesterday afternoon, the MICRC, after five rounds of single-choice voting and one round of ranked voting, chose the Crane A1 map as the remedial draft senate district plan to submit to the court. This map, which will be used for the first time in 2026 if approved, provides new opportunities for historically marginalized communities to elect the candidates of their choice, as did most of those under consideration. The Crane A1 map was not, unfortunately, among the proposed maps that both optimized partisan fairness and received the most positive public input.  The Detail ..read more
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VNP Weekly Update: June 21, 2024
Voters Not Politicians
by Melinda Billingsley
2w ago
The Headlines Today is the final day of the official public comment period in the state senate redraw, after months of outreach to residents by both Voters Not Politicians and the MICRC. Now the commission will need to take the feedback they’ve received from voters and use it to settle on a final map that balances partisan fairness, reflects communities of interest, and complies with the Voting Rights Act.  The bottom line is that the commission should adopt one of the two maps (Heron and 404) that do the best to meet all these requirements. The Szetela (404) map does a particularly good ..read more
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What Is the Future of Redistricting? Perhaps a Politician-Free Process, Experts Say
Voters Not Politicians
by Melinda Billingsley
2w ago
In 2018, Michigan voters rejected the traditional model of having state legislators create electoral maps. They chose a different method aimed at removing extreme partisanship from the redistricting process. In 2021 the state used an independent commission made up of four Democrats, four Republicans and five independents to redraw the state’s legislative and congressional maps. But advocates say there’s no turning back. “This is still worlds better than a group of politicians and special interests hiding behind closed doors and drawing maps that benefit one party or one special inter ..read more
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Analysis: Only 1/4 of Michigan Senate districts redrawn by MICRC are ‘fairer’ than previous map
Voters Not Politicians
by Melinda Billingsley
2w ago
Only one-fourth of draft Senate district voting plans were fairer than a previous, unconstitutional map from 2021, a coalition of Michigan advocates found in a new analysis. Jamie Lyons-Eddy, executive director of the nonpartisan group Voters Not Politicians, said she expected more than three of the 12 maps to be fairer than the unconstitutional districts from 2021. “I think it’s absolutely possible to meet the federal requirements to provide more opportunity districts for historically marginalized communities, to respect communities of interest and it’s better on partisan fairness,” Lyons-Edd ..read more
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Washtenaw United: ‘Voters Not Politicians’ working this election year to create greater equity and access to elections and government
Voters Not Politicians
by Melinda Billingsley
2w ago
[Excerpts taken from interview transcript] David Fair: This is a major election year. There’s a presidential election to decide. Michigan will be electing a new U.S. senator and a number of representatives. State legislative seats will be decided. And, of course, there are a glut of local races and ballot issues that will be decided by voters as well. Is there equity and access to voting as we prepare to make those decisions? This is 89 one WEMU, and I’m David Fair with this week’s edition of Washtenaw United. Our look at voting accessibility in Michigan voting laws was inspired by one of ..read more
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VNP Weekly Update: June 14, 2024
Voters Not Politicians
by Melinda Billingsley
3w ago
The Headlines I want to start this week’s update with a reminder that independent redistricting is still the best way forward for Michigan voters and those in other states! I was recently quoted alongside experts from Common Cause and the Brennan Center in an article from Democracy Docket that shows experts agree that a “politician-free” redistricting process results in better outcomes for voters.  This week, Voters Not Politicians has continued to raise the alarm about the lack of partisan fairness in several of the MICRC’s proposed senate maps, including my comments directly to the comm ..read more
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Newsletter: Summer Session at VNP
Voters Not Politicians
by Melinda Billingsley
3w ago
June 5, 2024 | Volume 6, No. 6 Hi friend, Before I get into the content of this month’s newsletter, I want to remind you that we will be transitioning to a quarterly newsletter from now on. That means your next VNP newsletter will hit your inbox in September. If you’d like more frequent updates from Voters Not Politicians and Voters Ed Fund, I encourage you to sign-up for our (shorter!) Weekly Update emails here.  Now to this month’s newsletter! While some institutions wind down or take a break during the summer, Voters Not Politicians and Voters Ed Fund are moving into our peak season ..read more
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Weekly Update: June 7, 2024
Voters Not Politicians
by Melinda Billingsley
1M ago
The Headlines This week, I was featured in a Michigan Advance article that raises the alarm about the MICRC’s proposed senate maps: Analysis: Only 1/4 of Michigan Senate districts redrawn by MICRC are ‘fairer’ than previous map.   We shared our detailed analysis of the commission’s 12 draft maps, and now it’s up to the public to make their voices heard and tell the commission to support a draft map that enables Black voters to elect the candidates of their choice, respects communities of interest, and, critically, gives voters partisan fairness across all districts. We are also prepa ..read more
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Summer is In Session!
Voters Not Politicians
by Melinda Billingsley
1M ago
Just because the legislature is out of session doesn’t mean our grassroots lobbying work is over. We’re launching our summer session of legislative action! Voters Not Politicians is excited to be organizing grassroots lobbying walks and Legislative Town Halls in key house districts just in time for the legislature’s summer recess.  Grassroots Lobbying Walks Representatives will be spending their summer in their districts focusing on hearing from their constituents, and Voters Not Politicians will be working hard to make sure they hear how much their voters support the protection and expan ..read more
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VNP Weekly Update: May 31, 2024
Voters Not Politicians
by Melinda Billingsley
1M ago
The Headlines This week, the Detroit News published a survey that shows many Michigan voters are dissatisfied with the condition of U.S. democracy. 68% — a shocking majority — of respondents are unhappy with our country’s democracy. We have made great strides in strengthening Michigan’s democracy over the past few years, but it’s clear that our work is far from over. That’s why Voters Not Politicians is focused on protecting our investments in Michigan’s democracy, and expanding our grassroots movement to reach more nascent pro-democracy activists.  In The Details this week, I have additi ..read more
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