Redistricting commission applications flooding in

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Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson holds a press conference in Grand Rapids Oct. 29, 2019, to formally announce the application process for the state’s bipartisan redistricting commission.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — State officials say thousands of people have already applied to be on the panel that will redraw Michigan’s legislative districts.

Though the application has been available online for a week, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson held an event in Grand Rapids Tuesday to formally announce it. She said the slew of early applications showed her that Michigan is ready for change and eager to take part in the process.

“This is an opportunity for voters not just to draw Michigan’s future by drawing the next generation of congressional and legislative districts for our state, but also to lead the country in showing how a truly independent, citizen-led process can develop competitive, fair districts for the entire state,” Benson said.

The redistricting commission, formed under a constitutional amendment approved by Michigan voters last year, will be made up of 13 randomly chosen members: four Democrats, four Republicans and five people not affiliated with either party. Each member will collect a $40,000 salary.

The only requirement to apply is that you must be a registered voter in Michigan. The state is hosting several workshops before the end of the year to explain the application process.

The application period closes June 1, 2020, and 200 semifinalists will be announced July 1. Commissioners will be chosen by Sept. 1 and go to work within the following six weeks. Districts will be redrawn by the end of 2021.

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