State sends out applications to serve on redistricting commission

LANSING — Applications to serve on the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (ICRC) were today mailed to 250,000 randomly selected voters across the state.

The mailing is the next step in a process to create Michigan’s first citizens redistricting commission—also one of the nation’s first— which voters approved in November 2018 as Proposal 2 to amend the Michigan Constitution.

The commission of 13 randomly selected members will have exclusive authority to adopt district boundaries for the Michigan Senate, Michigan House of Representatives and U.S. Congress every 10 years. District lines for political offices in Michigan, as in other states, must be redrawn every decade following the U.S. Census. The Constitution requires that the Secretary of State mail applications to serve on the commission to a minimum of 10,000 randomly selected Michigan voters.

“It’s a new day for democracy in Michigan, and I encourage every Michigan voter to apply for the independent commission to participate in this historic moment,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. “We’re mailing a quarter-million applications to help ensure all Michiganders know they have this opportunity. But even voters who don’t receive an application in the mail can apply online.”

Applications to serve are available online at RedistrictingMichigan.org and application workshops are being held across the state. Applications must be signed in the presence of a notary and returned to the Department of State by June 1, 2020.

On Nov. 19, representatives from third-party independent governmental accounting firm Rehmann LLC, of Troy, randomly selected names of residents to whom an ICRC application packet would be mailed. This occurred while members of the public and the media observed.

According to the Michigan Constitution, in June 2020, 200 semifinalists must be randomly selected from the pool of applicants. Sixty of the applicants must affiliate with the Democratic Party, 60 with the Republican Party, and 80 must not affiliate with either party. Half of these semifinalists must be recipients of the random mailing.

The final citizen commission, once selected, will be made up of four Democrats, four Republicans and five unaffiliated voters. The deadline for the commission to adopt a redistricting plan for Michigan’s districts is Nov. 1, 2021.

Under the new constitutional provision, voters assigned the Secretary of State the responsibility of administering the application and selection process of commissioners, as well as providing administrative support to the commission once formed.

Details: Visit RedistrictingMichigan.org. G.G.