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Redistricting commission approves voting procedure

Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission
Sarah Lehr
/
WKAR News
Members of the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission hear feedback from the public during a public hearing at the Lansing Center on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021

The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission approved a process for voting on final maps for legislative district lines at its meeting Thursday.

Ahead of voting, the commission will hear presentations and hold a discussion on each map in a category. That’s when commissioner’s will also share their top two favorite plans of each type.

In first the voting round, commissioners will have two chances to motion to reconsider a map if it doesn’t receive the constitutionally required amount of support after its first try.

After that, the commission will use ranked choice voting. Random selection from the entire pool of maps that were up for public comment will serve as the last resort.

MICRC spokesman Edward Woods III says commissioners chose the specifics of each of those steps based on public feedback.

“The public says we want you to consider each of the maps. Not just one, vote and not consider the rest of them. And I think that’s really significant once again because the public continues to look to proof as to whether or not we’re hearing them,” Woods said.”

Commissioner Anthony Eid said he hopes it doesn’t get to point of random selection.

“We have a lot of different opportunities for discussion on the votes and perhaps if we can’t come to an agreement that we’ve worked in discussion opportunities to maybe sway one person or another,” he said.

The commission has until the end of the month to meet a deadline for submitting its final redistricting plans.

Eid said he’s confident the commission can reach meet that goal. But he’s leaving the door open for a surprise.

“Until we adopt a map, then we can change whatever we want. So it’s possible. But my personal preference at this point given the time constraints that we’re under is that we adopt one of the collaborative maps,” Eid said.

During the meeting, the commission’s general counsel clarified that independently drawn maps submitted for public comment will also be up for voting consideration.

The commission ran out of time at Thursday’s meeting to discuss a handful of agenda items like one named “Consideration of Alternate State House Maps.”

It plans to meet next on the 28th in Lansing. It can also meet on the 29th and 30th in case time becomes an issue again.

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