Redistricting: how politicians draw the line

For the first time in ten years, Michigan has new political lines.

Districts were redrawn following the 2010 U.S. Census Report.

Changes in the population have a major impact on how political lines are drawn.

Obviously, the party that is in power during the time of the redraw, draws the new lines to back what they feel is their best election chances|there are challenges through the process before they get into legal action, said Doug DeYoung, Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce.

There are state and federal laws that govern redistricting.

First, the U.S. Constitution requires each district to have about the same size population. That is why northern Michigan TMs House Districts are geographically larger then those downstate.

Michigan TMs constitution requires state leaders to assign 110 House Districts and 38 Senate Districts.

With that in mind, political lines follow the people.

Over the past several decades, as Detroit lost population and central-northern Michigan grew, experts say the lines shifted slightly to the northwest.

Primarily where that population shift has occurred is on a corridor from Kalkaska to Petoskey. That is where you have seen an increase in the number of House Seats and a decrease in the size of State Senate Districts, because of population, said Jason Allen, former State Senator.

Even though Detroit TMs population is shrinking, southeast Michigan still controls Lansing politics.

The region simply has more votes.

Watch our Fact Finder report to learn more about redistricting.