Flip of Michigan Legislature highlights role of fair maps
A Democratic swing in the Michigan Legislature highlights the role that redistricting can play in the outcome of elections. In previous elections, Republicans had retained control of the Michigan House and Senate despite the fact that Democratic legislative candidates received more total statewide votes. This year, Democrats received a slight majority of votes and won a slight majority of seats in both chambers. The difference is that candidates ran in new districts drawn by an independent citizens commission instead of ones crafted by the Republican-led Legislature. A constitutional amendment passed by voters in 2018 created the commission and set “partisan fairness” as one of the criteria when drawing the new legislative districts.