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Commission seeks new members

To the Journal editor:

It’s not too late to apply to be on the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission.

In 2018, the citizens of Michigan voted overwhelmingly to correct the gerrymandering of our state by forming an Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission to draw boundaries for voting districts to conform to strict and fair criteria rather than be at the whim of the party in power at the time.

The Redistricting Commission formation process is continuing despite the COVID-19 shut-downs. The deadline for applying is June 1 and applications from the UP and several demographic categories are underrepresented.

Of the 4,637 applications processed, 114 are from the U.P. I urge you to consider applying, and to encourage others to apply, especially those who are in the underrepresented demographic categories (women, people of color, younger individuals.)

The Citizens Redistricting Commission positions are paid roughly $40,000 for the term of service from September 2020 to November 2021. If you currently have a job, your job must be held for you and you cannot be penalized by your employer for serving on the commission.

You do not need to have prior knowledge or experience in drawing legislative districts. Experts and technical staff will be provided. The commission is required to judge possible maps against specific criteria and to vote on the final map.

The commissioners will also hold public meetings around the state before and after the map is drawn to hear comments and concerns of Michigan’s citizens. There are no qualifications besides being a registered and eligible Michigan voter.

Go to RedistrictingMichigan.org to get an application, review the eligibility restrictions, find out more about serving on the commission, learn how the commissioners are selected and even apply online.

The application must be notarized before being submitted. There is information on the website about where you can get it notarized for free online. After notarizing, the application can be sent via email, or printed and mailed.

Just make sure it gets there before June 1. Help make our democracy better and stronger.

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