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Michigan initiative seeks to avoid unjust redesign of US constituencies – international

The most confusing year for the US Legislature is about to begin. The Distribution of Past Census (2010-2020), Last week, sets the stage for a war that could transform political power in Washington and all states over the next decade, from there to the new Election map Confused American voting system.

The census affects the number of delegates in each state, such as Texas and Florida, where Republicans control state chambers, and they may be sufficient to eliminate weak Democrats in the House.

Republicans in both states alreadyJerryMondering”, Maps are deliberately distorted so that one party benefits at the expense of the other.

In practice, the redesign enhances the representation of a party by manipulating the electoral map. An example of deviation is Ohio. In 2020, Donald Trump Received 53% of the vote. Joe Biden 45% stayed with. However, the Republicans elected 12 of the 16 state representatives – 75% of the seats.

This time, however, in the state MichiganThe story would be different to the initiative of a young American, one of the most affected by the district redesign over the years, according to specialized agencies – Katie Bahe.

After a successful campaign Facebook, He was able to list hundreds of thousands of signatures to put forward a proposal and change the way his state draws the electoral map: the map will be drawn up by an independent commission of 13 members, for the first time, instead of legislators. The commission is made up of four Democrats, four Republicans and five independents or third party members.

Katie does not identify with Democrats or Republicans, and presents herself as an independent. According to her, the votes are on the person, in her view, not on the parties that are far removed from the real life of their constituents. “The choice of a politician must be made by the voter. But for now, the politician chooses the voter, ”Katie, 30, said in an interview. Estado.

With a degree in sustainable business and community leadership, she has been helping Katie develop sustainable projects for associations affiliated with the Michigan Recycling Coalition while not traveling around the country. At the same time, it seeks to recycle a practice that is detrimental to American democracy.

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Of the 435 (5%) electoral districts that elect federal representatives, only 24 were considered candidates in the 2016 election, according to the organization that fights vote oppression in the USA Change the Rules. In 411 districts, according to the organization, due to Jerrymandering, the result was pre-determined.

A few days after posting on Facebook, Katie collected nearly half a million signatures every ten years in support of a proposal (a popular initiative voted on in the poll) to create an independent commission responsible for drawing up the Michigan election map by creating a campaign for voters politicians.

In the 2018 midterm elections, voters voted in favor with 61% of the vote, which in the state transferred the power to design electoral districts to an independent commission. Similar efforts were allowed in four states that year (Colorado, Missouri, Ohio and Utah). “Enough is enough,” he says, adding that people are tired of the political polarization.

“Candidates who try to divide us are re-elected. There are many who want something different. Our politicians care about our schools, our water, our roads or how the country can continue to provide a quality of life. These people do not care about the polarization or demonization of those who believe in something different.”

Katie says she has no interest in political office. He now hopes to replicate the Michigan model in the other 35 U.S. states that follow district redistribution by congressmen. To this end, he started The People, an organization in Michigan designed to teach and demonstrate how the process is built and how models are designed.

“We do not care which party the person will vote for. We take care that every voter chooses whichever party he chooses to be the same. We believe that every vote should have the same value.”

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During the period of deep political division, his ambition was revolutionary, wrote journalist David Daly, who became one of the leading experts in the field and wrote two books about Jerrymandering in the United States. His last, Not Dismissed – How Americans Fight to Save Democracy (In free translation because Americans are fighting to save democracy), he tells the story of initiatives to end this practice in the country, and devotes a chapter to what he calls the “Michigan Redistribution Revolution.”

In 2018, emails leaked to the press showed that the Republican aide was proud to have all the “democratic rubbish” in the selected “four or five districts” already controlled by the Democrats during the 2011 election map change. The party refused and used the scale to its advantage.

According to the Boston Globe, the success of Katie’s effort in Michigan – this is stated in the documentary Kill the dragon (Kill the Dragon in Free Translation, see trailer below) – shocked the local political establishment, which created so much excitement for a non-professional initiative that it collected so many signatures without receiving financial or monetary donations.

Katie talks about the widespread distrust in government agencies today and the distrust of Americans over politicians who make too many promises, but when they come to power they act completely differently. “What we’re trying to do now in the United States is to ask people if they think the system is fair, if they want our vote to be what it is. And it’s very fruitful. He says.

According to him, this engagement is mainly important to win the confidence of a young person who wants to join a political party, but is constantly bombarded with “bad news”. “It could alienate generations. Adjusting for gerimandering and vote suppression will help people come back to trust the system.”

Capture diluted and packaged

Redistribution is the process by which the new boundaries of the state and federal legislative districts are drawn. The federal representatives and the state congressmen are each elected in political divisions called districts. U.S. federal senators are not elected by district, with two for each state.

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District lines are redrawn every 10 years after the U.S. Census. The federal government stipulates that districts must have approximately equal populations and not discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity.

With the responsibility of creating new district taxes and increasing the amount of information about voter profiles in digital databases, lawmakers have begun to do so with unprecedented accuracy over the past decade.

As you explain Estado John Rennie Short, an expert at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, said that in many states, the party with the majority has come to manipulate the boundaries of that power in their favor, known as discriminatory jerimandering.

The name comes from Elbridge Jerry, the former vice president and governor of Massachusetts, who signed a law in 1812 authorizing his Democratic-Republican party to redesign the district map in an extraordinary way, weakening the opposition federal party. Since then, the term has been considered a corruption of the democratic process.

In the article published by the website Conversation, Short explains that Gerimandering involves two procedures: ‘dilute’ and ‘set’. First, politicians spread opposition voters in as many districts as possible to dilute their power. Second, these opposition voters are focusing on as few districts as possible to reduce the number of seats they can win.

Journalist David Daly says that despite the practice of the two major American parties, Republicans have begun to implement it with greater commitment over the Red Map over the past decade. It worked and in 2016 the Republican Party won 32 legislatures and 33 state governments.

According to Short, this practice is very harmful and strengthens both parties and divisions in the United States. “It allows politicians to defend their seats, so they should appeal only to their site, not the general public.”