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Redistricting town hall set for the 20th

The League of Women Voters of the Copper Country is hosting a virtual town hall April 20th with Portage Lake District Library to discuss Michigan’s experiment with the bipartisan redistricting commission model. It is part of a series being held across the state. Valorie Troesch says the panel is a requirement thanks to an amendment to the state constitution voted on in the 2018 election. It’s most common to give the majority party in the state legislature authority over how to draw district lines.

Troesch says that the commission only has authority to draw lines for both chambers of the Michigan legislature and the United States House of Representatives. Due to the small population size of the Upper Peninsula, there isn’t a lot that will change until you get down to the state house district locally. Troesch wants to highlight the Communities of Interest concept.

They’re areas that share economic, historic, or cultural interests, so you can tell that that’s a pretty broad definition. Of the examples that’s often used because it seems to be the most apparent is, for example, Native American communities.

Census data is delayed this year and the commission is actively seeking an exemption to the constitutional requirement that 2022 districts must be set by September. Once it has completed its mission, it is retired for a decade until the 2030 census is done.

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