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Cass County man accuses local apportionment board of redrawing county commission

Michigan's new congressional district map was approved by the Citizens Independent Redistricting Commission.
Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission
Michigan's new congressional district map was approved by the Citizens Independent Redistricting Commission.

A Cass County man has accused the local apportionment board of redrawing county commission districts for partisan gain.

Now the state Court of Appeals says it’ll hear arguments in the case April 13th.

Voting rights activist and Cassopolis village trustee James Pedersen brought the lawsuit.

He says the map drawn by the county’s mostly Republican apportionment board, unlawfully splits up the City of Dowagiac.

Pedersen alleges the board divided the city to dilute Dowagiac’s Democratic vote, getting rid of a competitive seat on the county commission.

“They insist they had no partisan leanings or considerations. I just really find that difficult to believe.”

The apportionment committee has declined to comment on the case before there’s a ruling.

Sehvilla Mann joined WMUK’s news team in January 2014 as a reporter on the local government and education beats. Before that she covered a variety of topics, including environmental issues, for Bloomington, Indiana NPR and PBS affiliates WFIU and WTIU. She’s also written and produced stories for the Pacifica Network and WYSO Public Radio in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Sehvilla holds a B.A. in French from Earlham College and an M.A. in journalism from Indiana University.