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Redistricting fight begins this week

The Michigan House districts as they exist now.
The Michigan House districts as they exist now.

The partisan battle over the state’s new maps of congressional and legislative districts kicks off Tuesday at the state Capitol.

Republicans are likely to get their plans adopted. They control the House, the Senate and the governor’s office. A legal challenge would probably be decided by the GOP controlled state Supreme Court.

Democrats charge Republicans manipulated the lines to put two Democratic incumbents together in one district – and to shore up the GOP base for some vulnerable Republicans.

State Representative Barb Byrum  is the ranking Democrat on the redistricting committee.

“Michigan voters are real people with real rights, including the right to choose their own representation and to have that representation truly reflect them and their communities.”

State Representative Pete Lund chairs the House Redistricting and Elections Committee. He says the Republican-drafted maps comply with state and federal laws. And he says the Republican map preserves minority voting rights.

“If somebody finds we did something wrong or a better way to do it, we’ll take a look at it, but as of now, I think it’s a go."

Lund says there’s no reason the new maps outlining congressional seats and legislative districts cannot be done within a couple weeks. Democrats accuse the Republicans of rushing the process.

Read more about Michigan Radio's coverage of the redistricting in Michigan.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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