REDISTRICTING ARTISTS

The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission has settled (8-5 vote) on a firm to help draw new state and congressional districts – Election Data Services, led by Kimball Brace, who some are calling the Picasso of redistricting efforts because of the convoluted district maps created at the behest of his partisan clients. The Virginia-based firm, the president of which admits has a slight Democratic leaning, will be assembling a Michigan team that includes the president of Applied Research Coordinates, considered one of the top Republican map creators. Both firms took part a decade ago in the 1991 redistricting, although the maps drawn then for their respective Democrat and GOP party clients were tossed out by the federal court, which ultimately drew up the new maps, an outcome all involved hope to avoid with the independent redistricting panel created under the 2018 voter-approved ballot issue. With that issue settled, the commission is expected to ask the Michigan Supreme Court for more time to complete their assigned task because information from the recent federal census won’t be forthcoming in time to meet constitutionally dictated deadlines on the redistricting process. 

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Oakland County political gossip