LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– For the first time, the public can have a say in the redistricting of the congressional, senate, and house districts in Michigan.
The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission is hosting a tour around Michigan that includes 16 stops. On Thursday, stop six was in Lansing.
One by one, people came to the microphone and give their reasons why the districts should be reformed or left alone.
“I’m pretty happy the way Clinton county is right now and I’d like at least Clinton county to be kept whole,” said Janice Hart of Bath Township.
While others stressed how the districts are laid out.
“I started off in Haslett in the 69th house district then I go across the 68th house district to my union hall and then I move into the 71st district when I go into work in Lansing Delta Township,” said Mike Huerta of Haslett.
The job of redistricting would usually be left up to legislators, but in the 2018, Michigan voters changed that.
“Often the party in power drew the lines to benefit their party so the citizens of Michigan, the voters in 2018 by a 61 percent vote agreed that an independent citizens redistricting commission should draw the lines to be more fair to everyone in Michigan,” said Sue Hammersmith, the executive director of the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission.
Now, what the public voted for is happening.
“I think it’s really important to get a lot of public input, I hope they hear from a lot of diverse people,” said Judy Karandjeff from East Lansing.
Hoping it will also be done fairly.
“We shouldn’t be creating the districts to help politicians get elected, we should be creating the districts to help the citizens of our area function more appropriately and more easily with their government,” said Huerta.
The commission hopes to get 10,000 comments from the public about redistricting and is offering input 24/7 online, if you’d like to do that, you can click here.
The tour will end July 1st, and that’s when the commission will start to draw the maps, which will be in place for the next 10 years.