Letter to the Editor: Vote no on Proposal 2.

October 24, 2018

Vote No with a Red Checkmark in Box

Letter to the Editor: Vote no on Proposal 2.

Letter to the Editor by Laura Krentz

Redrawing the federal and state voting district lines happens every 10 years after the U.S. Census.  Voters Not Politicians (VNP) is a ballot proposal that seeks to change who determines where these district lines are drawn.  Currently, the party in control in Lansing draws the lines.  VNP proposes instead to have a voluntary commission of citizens redraw the lines.  These citizens would be randomly selected from a candidate pool by the Secretary of State.

I have several concerns with this proposal:

The commission would consist of four Republicans, four Democrats and five independents who would self-identify their party affiliation.  But there is no way to verify their party affiliation because Michigan doesn’t require them to identify same when voting.  In addition, independents usually lean either right or left.  And, of course, there are also those who would just flat out lie.

Thousands of people would be excluded from being on the commission based on their employment related to politics, but their parents, children and spouses would also be excluded.  And that is a violation of the 14th Amendment.

There is no way for voters to remove commissioners.  A commissioner can only be removed by a vote of ten of their fellow commissioners.

The cost is astronomical.  In 2011, $878,000 was appropriated for redistricting.  VNP would result in an estimated $4.6 million appropriation annually until all legal challenges are over.  But the commission would be permitted to use even more than appropriated.  And each commissioner would receive a salary of $39,825.

The donors for VNP are affiliated with the Democrat Party, and many are from out of state.  The big donors are Action New Initiative from Texas, National Redistricting Committee headed by Eric Holder (former Attorney General with the Obama Administration), Campaign for Democracy out of California, the ACLU and Michigan United Auto Workers.

The TV advertisements for VNP are very misleading.  One shows the district boundaries as vertical and horizontal lines to give the illusion of fairness.  But the chances of having vertical and horizontal boundaries are zero.  And I have serious concerns about the ethics of those who would deliberately mislead the public.

One has to ask why this initiative is being proposed.  According to the leader of the initiative, it is “because we are not getting the election results we wanted.”

Both parties are guilty of gerrymandering when they are in power, but VNP is not the answer.

Laura Krentz

Rothbury, MI  49452

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