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Michigan SOS to mail 250K applications to serve on redistricting commission

Michigan Muslim Capitol Day
Posted at 2:31 PM, Nov 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-19 15:20:41-05

LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — The Michigan Secretary of State's Office plans to send out 250,000 applications to serve on the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission.

According to the SOS, a random name draw was held in Lansing on Tuesday. Rehmann LLC was the firm responsible for drawing the names.

Related: Here's how to apply to serve on the state independent redistricting commission

“The random public selection made today is an important step in the constitutionally mandated process to put citizens in charge of redrawing the state’s legislative districts,” Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said in a release.

According to the state constitution, the SOS to mail applications to a minimum of 10,000 randomly-selected Michigan voters, but because this is the first time any state has done this, they selected 250,000 to "ensure that the requisite number of individuals will respond to the mailing."

This move comes more than a year after Michigan voters passed Proposal 2, and about a month after the office first announced it was taking applications for people who want to serve on the commission. Those people can still apply and are encouraged to apply by the SOS office, even if your name wasn't selected.

The commission will consist of 13 randomly-selected people in Michigan from a pool of applicants who are registered voters. Four will be Republican, four Democrat, and five Independent.

By June, the Secretary of State must randomly select 200 semi-finalists – 60 from the Democratic party, 60 from the Republican party and 80 Independents – and half of those people must be from the random mailing applications.

According to the office, the pool of semi-finalists also must "mirror the geographic and demographic makeup of the state of Michigan."

After being selected, the commission will meet at locations across the state in 2020 and hold public hearings to invite further citizen input and participation. All of those meetings will be recorded and open.

According to the SOS, each commissioner will receive a compensation of $40,000, and by Nov. 1, 2021, the commission must adopt finalized and fair election district maps, which will become law on Dec. 31, 2021 and be in effect for the 2022 elections.

There are eight steps involved in the application. The SOS said it should take about 15-20 minutes. You must enter you name, birth month, birth year and zip code to confirm you are a registered voter before beginning the application. The application must also be signed in front of a notary, and all SOS offices will be offering free notary services for the application.

The commission must adopt a redistricting plan for the state of Michigan by Nov. 1, 2021 ahead of the 2022 general elections.