Gerrymandering could be a thing of the past with the final selection of the thirteen commissioners for the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. The random drawing from the final pool of 180 applicants was made on August 17th.
The new commission includes four citizens who identify as Republicans, four who identify as Democrats, and five who are not affiliated with either party. The whole process was carried out by the office of the Secretary of State and was facilitated by the independent accounting firm, Rehmann, LLC.
The process began in 2018 when a referendum vote took the power to draw U.S. congressional districts, as well as state House and Senate districts, away from the legislature. Many districts were set up to support candidates of a particular party in a practice known as gerrymandering. Over 10,000 citizens applied to be on the commission. The candidates were narrowed down to represent the actual makeup of the state by age, race, gender, and region, using census data.
The political implications of redistricting could be substantial. More information about the process and the outcome can be found at RedistrictingMichigan.org.
Reporting for WGRT – Jennie McClelland