Understanding gerrymandering, your vote

There are many people who want nothing to do with politics and are distressed by dysfunctional government. Possibly it is because it is very hard to find ways to change the system or to feel like our voice and vote matter.

Something called gerrymandering does take our voice away. In Michigan, the party that is in control at the time we finalize the Census gets to set up our voting districts which remain in effect for the next 10 years. Gerrymandering allows that party to slice and dice the districts in such a way that that they can guarantee their likelihood of winning.

Take a look at a map of our oddly-shaped voting districts, pretty much literally illustrating the problem. Gerrymandering has been around a long time, but with new technologies, the problem is worse. The slicing and dicing can be done with great accuracy to grab and move the right voters to the needed districts.

Imagine being a representative in a “safe” district. Would you worry about what your constituents think if you know that you are likely to get re-elected no matter how you vote in Washington or Lansing?

If it angers you that each political party has used this to their advantage and to close your voice out, there IS something you can do.

A group called Voters Not Politicians is busy circulating petitions so we can vote to establish an independent commission of 13 citizens to set up our voting districts and take it out of partisan hands.

Look for a petition to sign, or better yet, volunteer to help get signatures so we can vote to change our highly gerrymandered state.

Check them out at: www.votersnotpoliticians.com.

Here is your chance to take a stand that will make our votes matter.

Carolyn Medland

Hubbard Lake