By Jessica Mathews /

Livingston County residents and others across the state now have a new way to participate in the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Committee’s work with the launch of a public comment portal.

The portal is said to be a one-stop shop for members of the public to engage in the redistricting process and easily submit written comments, draw or upload maps and offer comment on other maps or submissions.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said robust public input is vital to the Commission’s work of drawing fair districts representative of all Michiganders and the new portal will make it easy for people to participate in the citizen-led redistricting effort.

The comprehensive tool was developed in partnership with the MGGG Redistricting Lab, a nonpartisan research group. Commissioners and the public will be able to see submissions and comments in real time.

Members of the public are encouraged to use the public comment portal to submit materials. However, the Commission will continue to receive email, mail and/or paper submissions and comments from the public. The Department of State will continue to provide those comments to the Commission and upload them to the website for public viewing regularly.

The new portal can be accessed on the Redistricting Commission’s website through the provided link.