MI redistricting commission hears from citizens

The commission is in charge of drawing new electoral district lines. But the new process may be a difficult one.

It’s a process that happens once a decade. But this year’s electoral redistricting process is markedly different from in the past. That’s because of an overhaul of redistricting rules passed by voters in 2018 to prevent gerrymandering.

Before the new lines are drawn, Michigan’s Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission is meeting with groups all over the state to hear feedback on what they should – and shouldn’t – consider when redrawing voting lines.

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About 100 people showed up to a hearing held last Thursday in Gaylord. Speakers highlighted their desire for keeping “communities of interest” together. What those “communities of interest” are is still an open question.

The commission is charged with dividing districts for 13 congressional seats, 38 state Senate seats, and 110 state House seats. Districts have to have relatively even populations, be contiguous, and respect county, city, and township lines. Additionally, the commission aims to keep various communities of interest together.

Speakers at Thursday’s hearing presented various ideas for what communities of interest the commission should focus on. People asked that school districts not be separated, church congregations be kept together, and that urban/rural areas be divided.

The commission will keep all those things in mind as it develops the new districts. And odds are good that not everybody will get what they want.

You can read more on Bridge Michigan.