That's their talking point. That's pure BS in the lies, damn lies, and statistics area. What Selweski doesn't get is the following.State House
1,536,711 (51.2%) total votes cast for state House Democratic candidates that resulted in 47 Democratic House seats (43%)
1,464,983 (48.8%) total votes for state House Republican candidates result in 63 Republican House seats (57%)
1. Candidate quality.
4. APOL standards
1. Candidate quality. Candidates vary from district to district.
2. Geography. Obviously, votes aren't spread out evenly across the state. State rep districts range from about 77,000-91,000 per district.
3. Self Packing. This is the big one and relates to geography. Most of the Michigan democrat vote in this state is clustered. Detroit. Upper Downriver. Metro Airport area. South Macomb. Southeast Oakland. Pontiac. Ann Arbor/Ypsi. NW Ingham County. Flint and Northern Genesee suburbs. Saginaw. Kalamazoo. Grand Rapids (City). Muskegon. Marquette. Bay City, Battle Creek and Jackson to a lesser extent. That covers most of it. When these democrats pack into an area on their own, funny districts don't need to be drawn to get skewed results.
Here's the straight ticket vote from Oakland County as an example, by precinct. Straight tickets went 50-49% dem in Oakland County this year. The vote is clustered. Pontiac, a little of Auburn Hills, and a small part of Waterford (competitive, more GOP than not overall). Then you have Southern West Bloomfield, Wixom's village area, some apartment areas of Novi, and Eastern Famington Hills in one area. Then there's Southfield roughly east to the county line. This is self packing. All of Pontiac is in a district. Auburn Hills is with Pontiac. That makes perfect sense. Farmington Hills is in a district to its own (with Farmington), as is Southfield. Royal Oak I believe has next door Madison Heights. The SE cluster is all together as well in a neatly shaped district. That's gerrymandering? Some of those districts haven't changed for years.
4. APOL Standards.
Here's the general guidelines for state legislature districts. You also have federal issues regarding race, etc that factor into some of the Detroit district shapes.
4.261 Redistricting plan for senate and house of representatives; enactment by legislature; guidelines.
By November 1, 2001, and every 10 years thereafter, the legislature shall enact a redistricting plan for the senate and house of representatives. Except as otherwise required by federal law for legislative districts in this state, the redistricting plan shall be enacted using only the following guidelines:
(a) The senate districts shall consist of 38 single-member districts.
(b) The house of representatives districts shall consist of 110 single-member districts.
(c) Senate and house of representatives districts shall be areas of convenient territory contiguous by land. Areas that meet only at the points of adjoining corners are not contiguous.
(d) Senate and house of representatives districts shall have a population not exceeding 105% and not less than 95% of the ideal district size for the senate or the house of representatives unless and until the United States supreme court establishes a different range of allowable population divergence for state legislative districts.
(e) Senate and house of representatives district lines shall preserve county lines with the least cost to the principle of equality of population provided for in subdivision (d).
(f) If it is necessary to break county lines to stay within the range of allowable population divergence provided for in subdivision (d), the fewest whole cities or whole townships necessary shall be shifted. Between 2 cities or townships, both of which will bring the districts into compliance with subdivisions (d) and (h), the city or township with the lesser population shall be shifted.
(g) Within those counties to which there is apportioned more than 1 senate district or house of representatives district, district lines shall be drawn on city and township lines with the least cost to the principle of equality of population between election districts consistent with the maximum preservation of city and township lines and without exceeding the range of allowable divergence provided for in subdivision (d).
(h) If it is necessary to break city or township lines to stay within the range of allowable divergence provided for in subdivision (d), the number of people necessary to achieve population equality shall be shifted between the 2 districts affected by the shift, except that in lieu of absolute equality the lines may be drawn along the closest street or comparable boundary.
(i) Within a city or township to which there is apportioned more than 1 senate district or house of representatives district, district lines shall be drawn to achieve the maximum compactness possible within a population range of 98% to 102% of absolute equality between districts within that city or township.
(j) Compactness shall be determined by circumscribing each district within a circle of minimum radius and measuring the area, not part of the Great Lakes and not part of another state, inside the circle but not inside the district.
(k) If a discontiguous township island exists within an incorporated city or discontiguous portions of townships are split by an incorporated city, the splitting of the township shall not be considered a split if any of the following circumstances exist:
(i) The city must be split to stay within the range of allowable divergence provided for in subdivision (d) and it is practicable to keep the township together within 1 district.
(ii) A township island is contained within a whole city and a split of the city would be required to keep the township intact.
(iii) The discontiguous portion of a township cannot be included in the same district with another portion of the same township without creating a noncontiguous district.
(l) Senate and house districts shall not violate the precedents established in Miller v Johnson, 115 S Ct 2475; 132 L Ed 2d 762 (1995); Bush v Vera, 116 S Ct 1941; 135 L Ed 2d 248 (1996); and, Shaw v Hunt, 116 S Ct 1894; 135 L Ed 2d 207 (1996).
This stops the dems from baconstripping districts from Detroit to Livonia or Livingston County for that matter to get these districts to fit the results they want. This goes back 20 years due to some of the 1970's and 1980's era democrat gerrymanders out there. Some of these aren't "perfect" in their breaks, but county breaks and municipal breaks are fairly uncommon in these maps.
As long as democrats self pack into places like Detroit, there's going to be skewed results between popular vote for an office by party, and the winners by district. There's nothing wrong with that as we have DISTRICT offices as well as state wide offices.