Input wanted on citizens redistricting commission application guidelines

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MICHIGAN — Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is asking Michigan citizens for their input on the application language and eligibility guidelines for the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission.

People can view the proposed language and guidelines online at RedistrictingMichigan.org and submit their comments by email at Redistricting@Michigan.gov. The public comment period runs through Friday, Aug. 9.

A public comment period isn’t required by the constitution, but, given the first-ever nature of this commission, Benson wants to encourage full citizen participation.

“A citizen-led, independent redistricting commission deserves an application process that is fully transparent and available to the public,” Benson said. “Today is the first step in this historic effort to map Michigan’s future.”

In November 2018, voters amended the state constitution to create a citizen-led commission responsible for drawing district lines for the Michigan Legislature and U.S. Congressional seats. Under the amendment, the secretary of state is charged with administering the process for application and selection of the commissioners, as well as providing administrative support to the commission once formed.

The independent commission will be composed of 13 Michigan registered voters: four who self-identify as Democrats, four who self-identify as Republicans and five who self-identify as unaffiliated with either of those political parties.

The application process will launch this fall with an application deadline of June 1, 2020. Commissioners will be selected in a multi-step random selection process by Sept. 1, 2020. The commission will host town halls, gather public input and select the final maps by November 2021. These maps will take effect for the 2022 elections.

“The success of this new redistricting process will depend upon public engagement – whether average citizens know about the commission and are encouraged to apply and, once formed, whether citizens can meaningfully engage in creating and submitting maps to be considered,” Benson said. “To launch this citizen-led process, I invite Michigan citizens to offer input and feedback on the proposed application language and eligibility guidelines.”

For more information about the commission, including a detailed timeline and answers to frequently asked questions, visit RedistrictingMichigan.org.

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