Normally, it’d take a special kind of geek to spend a sunny, 60-degrees-in-February weekend day packed inside a school building listening to a forum on how government works. But 2017 isn’t a normal kind of year, and the 600 people who crowded into the East Lansing High School Cafeteria aren’t your average kind of geeks.
Instead, they are constituents on fire for change, and they want to see an end to the gerrymandering that has rendered their votes meaningless in far too many instances.
“I’ve just been appalled by the concept of gerrymandering ever since I heard about it in grade school,” DeWitt resident Sandy Thomasson said. “It just upsets me that such a thing should exist, and excited me to find out that there were other people that were coming to try to do something to correct it.”
She’s not alone. Among those in the audience were people who drove two hours or more to attend the forum.
There are a couple possible ways that gerrymandering could be ended in Michigan. Under one plan, a law would be passed replacing the partisan redistricting process with a nonpartisan commission. Another possibility calls for putting a referendum on that proposal before voters at a general election. Yet another avenue for change is the possibility of a court case challenging Michigan’s gerrymandered political map.