New State Redistricting Commission Application Now Open, SOS Benson Encourages Citizens to Apply

13 Michigan voters will now have the power to shape voting district lines in the state.

Last November voters approved a proposal to create an independent, citizen commission to redraw the state’s districts taking it out of the hands of the partisan legislature.

The goal is to eliminate gerrymandering.  That’s when politicians draw district lines to help their party stay in power.

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson was in Traverse City Tuesday working to get the word out that the application for the state’s new independent, citizen lead redistricting commission is now open.

“It’s truly critical that this commission of citizens has representation from every corner of the state,” said Benson.

This is the first time citizens in Michigan will draw district lines.

“This is a culmination of work on our team’s side, but also years of work for volunteers across the state with the Voters Not Politicians movement who created this new amendment to our constitution and this citizen’s commission,” said Benson.

“It’s really exciting for those of us who put so much time and effort into this,” said Jamie Lyons-Eddy, Director of Campaigns & Programs with Voters Not Politicians. “Now we actually get to apply, regular citizens can now apply to be on Michigan’s first redistricting commission.”

Any registered voter is eligible to apply to the commission.

“It’s very much designed that regular citizens should be a part of the process,” said Lyons-Eddy.

That means you reading this, can be a part of this process.

“We want to ensure everyone, every registered voter that is eligible to apply considers applying,” Benson said. “There’s no educational requirement, no experience needed, just an interest in serving your community and being a part of history.”

Once you have your application filled out, notarized and signed, you can take it to any Secretary of State location and they’ll have a drop box inside. 

The commission will be composed of 4 Democrats, 4 Republicans, and 5 who don’t identify with either party.

Benson will be hosting application workshops across the state to get as many citizens to apply as possible before the June 1, 2020 deadline.

To learn more on how to apply to the commission, click here.