Thousands of people want to serve on redistricting panel

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LANSING — More than 6,000 people have applied to serve on Michigan's new commission that will draw districts for seats in Congress and the state Legislature.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said nearly half of the applications have been processed. Her department is now accepting public comment on a method to identify 200 semifinalists.

"The fact that so many Michiganders have applied from across the state and demographic and political spectrums shows there is tremendous interest in serving and reshaping our democracy," Benson said.

A profile of the people whose applications have been processed is available at RedistrictingMichigan.org. The data will be updated regularly as more applications are processed. Applications have been processed from people in 82 of Michigan's 83 counties.

Applications will be accepted through June 1. Ultimately, 13 commissioners will be randomly selected: four affiliated with the Republican Party, four affiliated with the Democratic Party and five with no affiliation.

Voters amended the state constitution in 2018 to give the responsibility for drawing districts to a commission of Michigan voters.

The semifinalist pool must "mirror the geographic and demographic makeup of the state." The proposed method for this selection is open for public comment until March 27.

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