Michiganders Applying For Redistricting Commission
February 28, 2020
By Jessica Mathews/News@whmi.com
Livingston County residents are among thousands applying to serve on the state’s first redistricting commission.
Voters amended the state constitution in 2018 to give the responsibility for drawing state and congressional electoral districts to an independent commission of Michigan voters. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced that 3,033 applications – or nearly half of the more than 6,000 applications received to date – for the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission have been processed as of Thursday, February 27th. Of those 51% were politically unaffiliated, 35% were Democrat and 14% were Republican. 61% of those applying were male and 43% were age 65 or older. Applications have already been processed from residents in 82 of Michigan’s 83 counties. Ontonagon was the only one with none. A profile of the pool of applicants whose applications have already been processed is available at RedistrictingMichigan.org. The number of applications processed for Livingston County was 67. Washtenaw County had 197, Genesee County had 117 and Oakland had 514. Data will be updated regularly as more applications are processed. Benson said the fact that so many Michiganders applied from across the state and demographic and political spectrums shows that there is tremendous interest in serving on the commission and reshaping democracy.
Applications for the commission are still being accepted and must be submitted by June 1st. The commission’s 13 members will be randomly selected from a pool of 200 semifinalists - four affiliated with the Republican party, four affiliated with the Democratic party and five unaffiliated voters. The public comment period is now open for the weighted selection methodology proposed to identify the 200 semifinalists.
The constitution requires that the semifinalist pool “mirror the geographic and demographic makeup of the state.” Through a public solicitation, the Department of State selected an independent third-party accounting firm, Rehmann LLC, to create and conduct a weighted selection to identify the 200 semifinalists. The proposed methodology for the selection is now open for public comment. Comments will be accepted until March 27th.