Does Michigan Have a District that Looks Like Homer Simpson? You Be the Judge

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Back in 1812, Massachusetts Gov. Elbridge Gerry approved a voting map that had one district carefully drawn to favor his party. In the eyes of some, it looked like a salamander. Since then, manipulating districts to unfairly benefit a political party has been referred to as gerrymandering after the governor.


CLICK HERE to Take WDET’s Redistricting Rorschach Test


The process is completely legal in most states, including Michigan. As a result, voting districts today sometimes look like their own creatures.

You can scroll down to see what some southeast Michiganders said they saw when we gave them the test on the street and at our station. Click on the audio player above to hear them.

But first, you might want to take the test yourself here.


Michigan’s U.S. District 9 (Democrat Sander Levin)

Wikipedia

“When you tilt it on its side it kind of looks like a weird Simpson’s character. Like, kind of like if Homer was melting and his little arm was sticking out.” -Heather Zayne, Royal Oak

“It looks like a train. One of the older locomotive versions I guess. That would be the smoke, the thing that doesn’t make any sense, and then this thing, this more rectangular thing, the chimney coming up.” -Alexandria Balde, age 13


Michigan’s U.S. District 11 (Republican David Trott)

Wikipedia

“Maybe a hand gun?” -Ryien Hosseini, Ann Arbor

“There’s a game called Hangman and you draw a hangman type of thing, like the thing that you hang the guy on, and that’s what it looks like.” -Sydney Harker, age 14, West Bloomfield

“It kind of looks like there’s a hill or a cliff and then a building at the top. Maybe a person on top of that building?” - Breanna Anderson, Canton


See something different? Take WDET’s Redistricting Rorschach Test HERE.
  


Michigan’s U.S. District 13 (formerly Democrat John Conyers)

Wikipedia

“I can’t say it’s an ‘L’ but it goes up, comes down, then goes up, then goes across and then goes back down.” -Gregory Howell, Inkster


Michigan’s U.S. District 14 (Democrat Brenda Lawrence)

Wikipedia

“In a weird way that [bottom portion] kinda looks like somebody’s arm making a muscle.” -Nachelle Webster, Downtown Detroit

“It kind of looks like there’s a person hunched over. You can see their face and their neck is going forward and then they’re sitting down with their arms in their lap… It’s like they’re sitting on a bench.” -Isabella Ashtari, age 14, West Bloomfield

Click the audio player at the top of this post to hear residents saying what shapes they see in these districts.

Take WDET’s Redistricting Rorschach Test HERE.


Here’s other WDET work on the gerrymandering issue:

Talk Show Programming

WATCH HERE: A live one-hour show with an in-studio audience and guests at 8 p.m., Tuesday, June 26. Tune in at 101.9 FM or online at WDET.org. Or join on WDET’s Facebook page where we’ll live stream the show. The show rebroadcasts at 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 3. Listen HERE for WDET 101.9 FM live online.

On DETROIT TODAY: Was Racism Involved in the Drawing of Michigan’s Congressional Districts?

Digital Specials

A Podcast Playlist - Become a Gerrymandering Expert Just By Listening

NPR’s Hidden Brain: Gerrymandering and You

News Coverage

MichMash: Here’s How You Can Influence The Drawing of District Lines in Michigan

Gerrymandering: Why It’s a Technology Issue [TRANSCRIPT]

Redistricting 101: Your District, Your Politicians, But Does Your Vote Matter?

Ohio Offers Its Own Solution to Gerrymandering [MAPS + GRAPHS]

Who Should Draw Michigan’s Political Maps? Voters May Decide [PHOTOS + MAP]

Voters Not Politicians: The Pros [TRANSCRIPT]

Voters Not Politicians: The Cons [TRANSCRIPT]

It’s a Ship….No, it’s a House…Wait, it’s a Congressional District?

Does Michigan Have a District that Looks Like Homer Simpson? You Be the Judge.

Facebook Fun

Redistricting Rorschach Test

Image credit: WDET/Laura Herberg

This post is a part of 2018 Elections in Michigan.

 In November, Michigan voters will decide who will be the state's new governor, attorney general and secretary of state. Some state House and Senate seats are up for grabs, and numerous initiatives are expected on ballots.

WDET is committed to providing honest, fair, inclusive coverage of Michigan's 2018 elections. Join us now and all the way to the voting booth to be an informed voter.

 

This post is a part of Policy Meets the People: MI Voice, MI Vote.

The Policy Meets The People – MI Voice, MI Vote series gives metro Detroiters an opportunity to find out how key legislation, laws and policies created in Lansing affect their daily lives.

About the Author

Laura Herberg

Community Reporter

Covers stories about the people inhabiting the metro Detroit region, the issues that affect them, as well as classic public radio “fluff.”

Follow @DetroitLaura

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Ohio Offers Its Own Solution to Gerrymandering [MAPS + GRAPHS]

Michigan IS Gerrymandered, New Study Concludes

Gerrymandering: Why It's a Technology Issue [TRANSCRIPT]

Policy Meets the People: Introducing the Issue of Gerrymandering

Redistricting 101: Your District, Your Politicians, But Does Your Vote Matter?

NPR's Hidden Brain: Gerrymandering and You

Voters Not Politicians: The Pros [TRANSCRIPT]

Voters Not Politicians: The Cons [TRANSCRIPT]

Become A Gerrymandering Expert Just By Listening [PODCASTS]

LIVE STREAM: Policy Meets the People - The Redistricting Issue Special [VIDEO]

What's Next In Michigan's Gerrymandering Debate?

Who Should Draw Michigan's Political Maps? Voters May Decide [PHOTOS + MAP]

Michigan Political Group Works to End Gerrymandering

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