Technical Questions

Map Michigan's Future We hope the following page will help answer your questions about the Independent Citizens Redistricting Process. We will continue to update this page as more information becomes available. Have a question that isn't answered here? Please email mailto:Redistricting@Michigan.gov and our team will respond directly. You can also find us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


TECHNICAL QUESTIONS


 

Q: Can I complete my application online?



Yes. You can complete your online application at RedistrictingMichigan.org. Once you complete your application, download and save a PDF copy.

You must have your application signed by a notary before returning it to the Department of State. For a list of remote/electronic as well as in-person notaries providing this service for free, please visit Michigan.gov/FreeNotary.

Once your application is notarized, you may email an electronic copy of your notarized application to MDOS-NotarizedApplication@Michigan.gov .

Q: How can I access my saved or submitted application?

To access your application, please visit the following link, which will direct you to the Commission application homepage:
(online application is disabled).

You will be prompted to select the "Apply" button on the site, which will forward you to the voter registration page. Please enter in your voter registration information as prompted and click "Continue".

If you have already started your online application, your responses will be saved and you can continue to complete each page at any time before submitting your application.

If you have already completed your online application (i.e. pressed "Submit" on the final review page), when you enter your voter registration information you will see a pop-up window. The pop up window will offer you the option to print your completed application or start over with a new application.

Q: Does the application automatically save my answers?

The application automatically saves your responses whenever you click the "Save and Continue" option at the bottom of each page. You can leave and come back to your application and saved responses at any time by returning to the application home page and entering in your voter information.

It is possible for the session to time-out if your browser is not active. Please keep this in mind as you complete your application. For this reason, if you choose to complete the optional spaces for further information at the end of the application, consider drafting your responses in a Word document or text file and copying and pasting into the application browser once your answers are ready to submit.

Q: How can I edit my application once I have started it online?

Visit the application portal to access your saved or submitted online application. See "How can I access my saved or submitted application?"

If you have already completed your online application (i.e. pressed "Submit" on the final review page), when you enter your voter registration information you will see a pop-up window. The pop-up window will offer you the option to print your completed application or start over with a new application.

Here, select the option to start over with a new application.

Please note: If you have already returned a complete and notarized application to the Michigan Department of State and are choosing to re-submit your application with updated answers, you must start and complete an entirely new application. This new application must still be printed and notarized before it is returned to the Department of State.

Q: How do I print my online application?

Visit the application portal to access your saved or submitted online application. See "How can I access my saved or submitted application?"

If you have already started or completed your online application, you will receive a pop-up window that will offer you the option to print your completed application or start over with a new application.

Here, select the "Print" option, which will automatically direct you to a PDF copy of your application. At this time, you may choose to print the completed application from your web browser, or save a copy of your completed application to your computer to print at any time.

Please note that you may also complete your application entirely online by utilizing a remote or electronic notary and submitting your completed application via email. See "Can I complete my application online?"

Q: I received a pop-up notification that says I am not registered to vote, however, I know for certain that I am. How can I correct this so I may continue my application?

Ensure the information entered on your application matches what appears on your voter registration by visiting Michigan.gov/Vote.
Then, please attempt to resubmit your information to complete the application at the following link:

(online application is disabled)

The application may be sensitive to autofill programs on your browser. Before submitting your information, we advise that you take the time to review:

  • the spelling and order of your first, middle and last name
  • month of birth
  • year of birth
  • zip code where you are registered to vote. 

If you experience any difficulty reentering your voter registration information or accessing the application, please contact our office immediately at mailto:Redistricting@Michigan.gov

Q: Why won't the online application accept my email address?

Please confirm there is a not a space before, after, or in between your email address.
If you continue to experience difficulty, please contact our office immediately at mailto:Redistricting@Michigan.gov.

Q: Why was my application marked as incomplete?

Applications are marked as incomplete if they are missing any required information or application pages. All questions on the application are required unless otherwise noted and all pages of the application must be mailed to the Department of State, including the notary page. You can view common errors by application type here.

Q: What are common errors that result in an application being marked incomplete?

Common errors for applications submitted online include:

  • Missing application pages
  • Missing notary signature

For those who chose to complete the application by paper application form, common errors also include:

  • Unanswered questions
  • Missing demographic information (including birth date, race, Hispanic origin, city and zip code)
  • Missing application pages
  • Missing notary signature.

Q: What does it mean if my application was rejected due to notary error?

For an application to be accepted, it must be properly notarized on the provided page before a registered notary public.
Pursuant to the Michigan Law on Notarial Acts, a notarized document must include the:

  • Registered notary's name (printed)
  • Registered notary's signature
  • Date of notarization
  • Notary county of commission
  • County the document is notarized in

The notarized document must also contain the:

  • Applicant's name (printed)
  • Applicant's signature
  • Date of notarization

If your application was rejected due to notary error, it likely means that the above information was incorrect or not included in your application.

Q: What are common errors that result in an application being rejected due to notary error?

Common notary page errors include:

  • Use of a notary who is not commissioned in the state of Michigan
  • Incorrect or missing date
  • Missing notary signature
  • Missing county of commission
  • Missing applicant signature

To confirm the individual notarizing your application is a registered notary public in Michigan, please visit Michigan.gov/NotarySearch.

Q: What is the expected compensation of commissioners?

The Constitution requires that commissioners receive compensation equal to 25 percent of the Governor's salary, which amounts to approximately $40,000.

Q: How will my retirement or Social Security be impacted if I am selected to serve?

The Constitution requires that commissioners receive compensation equal to 25 percent of the Governor's salary, which amounts to approximately $40,000. In most cases, additional income should not affect the vested pension rights of a retiree, nor their ability to receive Social Security. However, as retiree pensions and Social Security benefits are very technical and unique to each individual, we strongly encourage contacting your retirement or pension provider and/or the Social Security Administration (SSA) to inquire whether the additional income would impact your benefits, should you be randomly selected to serve on the commission.

Q: What is the time commitment? 

The Commission will convene in the fall of 2020 and will be required to enact district maps no later than November 1, 2021.   Commissioners will set meeting dates and other commitments within those parameters upon its convening.

We estimate, based on the experiences of the citizens who sat on California's citizen redistricting commission in 2011, that the work hours will be variable depending on the week.  Some weeks the time commitment may be limited to a handful of hours, while others may be much more intensive. The work will be varied throughout the year to include meetings, at least 15 constitutionally-required forums and town halls, and other discussions as the commission deems necessary to fulfill its service to the state.  

Q: How many hours are commissioners expected to work? And if there is not a clear estimate, how can I make a more educated guess as to how involved this position will be?

The Constitution requires the commission, once seated in fall 2020, to operate autonomously and provides commissioners with the authority to create their own schedule. Commissioners will set meeting dates and other commitments within those parameters upon convening. For this reason, we do not have an exact understanding of how much time will be required of the commissioners. 

We estimate, based on the experiences of the citizens who sat on California's citizen redistricting commission in 2011, that the work hours will be variable depending on the week.  Some weeks, the time commitment may be limited to a handful of hours, while others may be much more intensive. The work will be varied throughout the year to include meetings, at least 15 constitutionally required forums and town halls, and other discussions the commission deems necessary to fulfill its service to the state.

Q: Will travel expenses be reimbursed?

This will be determined by the commission itself. Michigan's constitution does not specifically address travel reimbursement, but the commission does have the authority to choose to reimburse commissioners' travel and other related expenses as part of the expenses of the duties of Commissioner. 

Q: The application indicated there must be consensus among commissioners for major decisions. What does that mean?

The commission will select the district maps by "a majority vote of the commission, including at least two commissioners who affiliate with each major party, and at least two commissioners who do not affiliate with either major party." [MI Constitution, Article IV, Section 6 (14)(c)]. If two votes from each group of commissioners is not possible, there is a provision for a system similar to rank choice voting to determine which is the final set of maps. 

The constitution also notes that "a decision on the dismissal or retention of paid staff or consultants requires the vote of at least one commissioner affiliating with each of the major parties and one non-affiliating commissioner." [MI Constitution, Article IV, Section 6 (12)] 

Q: Will I still be able to collect retirement/Social Security Benefits if I am selected to serve as a commissioner?

In most cases, the additional income should not impact a commissioner's ability to accept their retirement/pension or Social Security benefits, however, we advise that you contact your retirement/pension provider and/or the Social Security Administration to inquire whether additional income would impact your benefits, should you be randomly selected to serve on the Commission.

Q: Will I still be able to collect my annual salary wages if I am selected to serve as a commissioner?

The Constitutional amendment does not explicitly state whether employers are required to continue to pay their employee wages (such as an annual salary) during their participation in commission work or events.

Please consult your department's legal counsel or human resources department to understand the potential impact of the additional income on your annual salary, should you be randomly selected to serve as a commissioner.

Q: How will serving on the commission impact my tax status?

Compensation paid to commissioners is income and thus, subject to state and federal income taxes. The tax implications of this compensation will be different for different people depending on how much other income they receive.

Please consult a tax specialist to understand the potential impact of the additional income on your tax status, should you be randomly selected to serve as a commissioner.

Q: If selected, can I maintain my employment and serve as a commissioner?

The Constitution prohibits a selected commissioner's employer from terminating or retaliating against them because of their membership on the Commission. As such, selected commissioners are protected, should they choose to maintain employment while serving on the Commission.

We strongly encourage applicants to consider the flexibility and demands of their current commitments. We estimate, based on the experiences of the citizens who sat on California's citizen redistricting commission in 2011, that the work hours will be variable depending on the week. Some weeks the time commitment may be limited to a handful of hours, while others may be much more intensive. The work will be varied throughout the year to include open meetings, at least 15 constitutionally-required forums and town halls, and other discussions as the commission deems necessary to fulfill its service to the state.

Q: If selected, will I be required to take a leave of absence from my job or can I use annual leave/paid time off?

This will vary depending on the commissioner's employer/organization. Please consult your department's legal counsel or human resources department to understand the use of leave time, should you be randomly selected to serve as a commissioner.

The Constitution prohibits a selected commissioner's employer from terminating or retaliating against them because of their membership on the Commission. As such, selected commissioners are protected, should they choose to maintain employment while serving on the Commission.

 


THE COMMISSION


Q: What is the role of the Secretary of State once the Commission is formed?

The Secretary of State is the "secretary without a vote" of the Commission once formed. This involves keeping the public record and providing any technical assistance the Commission might need [MI Constitution, Article IV, Section 6 (4), (17)].

Q: Will the Secretary of State have power over map drawing? 

No, the Secretary of State will merely serve as a "secretary without a vote." [MI Constitution, Article IV, Section 6 (4)]. The Commission is independent and autonomous. Only commissioners can instruct, vote on, or otherwise make any substantive decisions about map drawing. 

Q: What if I don't want to be a commissioner or I wasn't randomly selected - can I still be involved?

Yes. Citizen involvement throughout the redistricting process is critical to ensuring it is independent and fair. and are not selected to serve as a commissioner, you will still be able to submit maps to the Commission for consideration and otherwise advocate for your interests before the Commission. Please sign up to receive updates on how to stay involved or follow us on social media @RedistrictingMI on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.