Public Input Sought for Draft of Citizen’s Redistricting Commission Application
(Crystal A. Proxmire, July 21, 2019)
Lansing, MI- Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is seeking public input on the draft of the application for those wishing to serve on the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. The commission will be made up of 13 registered voters randomly selected by the Secretary of State: four self-identified Democrats, four self-identified Republicans, and five who self-identify as unaffiliated with major political parties. It also prohibits partisan officeholders and candidates, their employees, certain relatives, and lobbyists from serving as commissioners.
The Secretary of State’s office created an application for those who would like to serve, and in the interest of transparency, she has posted that draft online and set a public comment period for feedback on the form.
The website explains “Redistricting is a process that happens every 10 years, but this is the first time a new citizen-led commission of 13 randomly selected commissioners will be mapping Michigan’s future. According to the constitution, the Secretary of State’s Office must develop and administer the application and selection process for voters interested in serving as commissioners. We believe the public should be part of this transparent, independent process at every step.
“Though not constitutionally required, the Secretary of State is seeking public feedback on the draft language for the application and accompanying commissioner eligibility guidelines through Aug. 9. We welcome your thoughts and input.
“This period of open public comment is provided by the Michigan Department of State. To participate, send all comments and suggestions to Redistricting@Michigan.gov.”
Nancy Wang is the Executive Director of Voters Not Politicians, the organization behind the ballot proposal to create the commission. “Voters overwhelmingly supported a transparent, citizen-centered redistricting process and we are happy to see the Secretary of State’s office is executing its administrative role in that spirit,” she said. “Under the new amendment, everyday citizens will draw Michigan’s election district maps in a fair, impartial, and transparent way with public input. This is an exciting opportunity to engage in our democracy and restore the people’s trust in our government.”
She said that Voters Not Politicians is already aware of 1,500 people who are interested in serving. Although the ballot measure passed, the work is not done for Wang and team of volunteers. They continue with community engagement and monitoring the process.
The draft can be read at https://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1633_91141_93804—,00.html
Voters Not Politicians
Secretary of State Citizen’s Commission Page
MML#1: Stuff to Know about Redistricting and New Election Laws (April 29, 2019)