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Politics & Government

Michigan Set To Begin Public Hearings On Redistricting

U.S. Department of the Interior

Michigan’s new redistricting commission is set to begin taking public comment as it weighs how to draw lines for 13 congressional and 148 legislative seats that will last for a decade.

The series of 16 hearings will start Tuesday in Jackson and end July 1 in Grand Rapids.

The panel — which has four Democrats, four Republicans and five independents — will create maps instead of the Legislature after voters’ approval of an anti-political gerrymandering constitutional amendment in 2018.

“The new redistricting process ensures that redistricting occurs in an open and transparent manner with the opportunity for statewide participation. Communities of interest for the first time are going to have a voice to prevent gerrymandering and to prevent the division of neighborhoods for partisan gain, which can harm communities,” said Rebecca Szetela, vice-chair of the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission..

The panel, voting advocates and other groups are encouraging residents to participate in the process, contending that the public had no meaningful opportunity to do so when lawmakers led efforts in recent decades. People can testify in person or virtually at the hearings or submit their thoughts separately online or by mail.

Commission spokesman Edward Woods III said the goal is to get 10,000 public comments.

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