By: Sarah Martin, News Editor
Student Government sponsored a table last Thursday in coordination with Voters Not Politicians, a committee devoted to educating Michiganders about gerrymandering and changing current district boundaries.
Gerrymandering, or partisan redistricting as it is alternatively called on their website, “occurs when politicians draw voting map lines unfairly to benefit themselves or their political party.”
The table was collecting petition signatures to put a proposal onto the November 2018 Michigan gubernatorial election. According to the volunteers and website, their goal is to “create an independent redistricting commission.” This commission would be comprised of “thirteen Michigan voters with no political ties, chosen randomly from a pool of volunteers.”
The 13 individuals would be four Republicans, four Democrats, and five Independents. They would hold public hearings across Michigan to gather input from residents on how to best create district boundaries based on six criteria. Those criteria are: population, contiguity, communities, fairness, boundaries, and compactness.
The Speaker of the Senate for Student Government, Sasha Freeman, voiced her support for the proposal by sitting alongside volunteers to encourage students to sign. “Being a political science major has given me an inside perspective. This is a non-partisan issue affecting both sides and our communities,” Freeman says, “This is about fair voting and representation—everyone deserves that.”
Freeman says Student Government will most likely host another table with Voters Not Politicians sometime in November. Voters Not Politicians must collect 315,654 signatures by February 2018 for the proposal to make the November election. To learn more about Voter Not Politicians, visit votersnotpoliticians.com.