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New process of redrawing Michigan’s political maps comes to Marquette

The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission will listen to U.P. residents at The Northern Center on NMU’s campus starting at 6 p.m. on May 18.
Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 2:19 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - A group of Michigan citizens is working to redraw our state’s political maps and next week the group comes to Marquette.

“For the first time in the history of our state of Michigan, residents have an opportunity to be involved in the redistricting process,” said Sue Hammersmith, MICRC Executive Director.

The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, or MICRC, will listen to U.P. residents at The Northern Center on NMU’s campus starting at 6 p.m. on May 18.

“We want to know how they want their districts drawn,” said Hammersmith.

The commission is made up of four democrats, four Republicans and five people not affiliated with either major party.

Currently the Upper Peninsula is represented by one congressman, two state senators and four state representatives. The commission says it will try to keep people of the same values in the same districts.

“So that we’re not drawing district lines, basically cutting a group of people that have those particular beliefs in half,” said Dustin Witjes, Michigan Redistricting Commissioner.

The lines the commission draws will be in place for the next ten years until the next census.

After the commission completes its public hearings the redistricting process will start.

“Once the lines are drawn there will be another 45 days of public comment and there will be eight more public hearings and we will be coming back to Marquette,” said Hammersmith.

The census results have been delayed and the commission has asked for an extension of its current November deadline. A decision from the Michigan’s Supreme Court has not been made.

If you can not attend Tuesday’s meeting in-person, you can participate over zoom by click here or submit public comment online by clicking here.

You can learn more about the new redistricting process through a special episode of Media Meet. TV6′s News Director Andrew LaCombe teamed up with WNMU TV for a two-part series.

The first episode airs on May 16 at 6 p.m. eastern time on TV6.

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