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Mallory McMorrow

With April 23 the official candidate primary filing deadline, a new court-order for Michigan’s Independent Citizen Redistricting Commission is the definition of urgent. A panel of three federal judges determined that 13 Detroit-area Senate and House districts were erroneously drawn, disenfranchising Black voters by keeping their population to about 35 to 45 percent. The redistricting commission has until Friday, February 2, to redraw the maps or the court will do the job. Included are seven state House seats and six state Senate seats, including state Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills) seat. Senate seats are not up for re-election in 2024, although every House seat is. Many local legislators and municipal leaders said they believe the end result will be that all the districts end up getting redrawn because every district is contiguous with the other. One noted that the elections for the currently open House seats, in Warren and Westland, that have created a power/control stalemate in the state House, cannot be held until redistricting is resolved. Political scientist Dave Dulio of Oakland University said the commission had to consider three criteria: the Voting Rights Act, communities of interest, and partisan interest, and partisan interest emerged as greater than the other two. “Odds are the dominoes begin to fall if you make the slightest changes to one district.”

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