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Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission application process announced in Grand Rapids

Jocelyn Benson photo
Patrick Center

Michigan’s citizen-led redistricting process is underway. Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson was in Grand Rapids Tuesday announcing how citizens can apply online for a seat on the panel.

Last fall, voters approved the Voters Not Politician constitutional amendment. It removes legislators from drawing district maps and give that power to 13 randomly selected citizens. Serving on the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission begins with filling out an online application through June of next year. This is phase one. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says more than 2,000 have already applied at redistricting-dot-org.

“We’re actually going to be in the first stage of the selection process selecting 200 semifinalists. Those individuals will be posted online. This will be a public and transparent process throughout and we fell that’s critical to ensuring that any effort to game the process or manipulate in any way are drowned out by a process that’s really transparent and citizen led.”

Under the constitution the state will mail out by January 1st of 2020, 10’s of thousands of applications to registered voters.

During phase two legislative leaders can strike 20 individuals from the pool of applicants.

“There will be another random drawing out of which four Republicans, four Democrats and five unaffiliated citizens will be selected and they will form the 13-member commission.”

The third and final phase is the seated commission drawing congressional, state house and state senate districts for the next decade.

One commissioner will be elected chair. All will be paid a part-time annual salary of $40,000.

Patrick Center, WGVU News

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.