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Benson files lawsuit to ensure public can provide input on redistricting

Delayed census data requires deadline extension

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has filed suit with the Michigan Supreme Court to ensure the public can provide feedback on the new voting district maps that will be drawn by the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC). The suit was filed jointly with the MICRC and seeks a new deadline for finalization of the maps due to the delay in provision of census data from the federal government.

"Our state constitution guarantees the people of Michigan 45 days to review and provide comment on the maps created by the independent commission, and this time must be granted them despite the delay by the U.S. Census Bureau," said Benson. "We launched this historic commission in a manner that was citizen led and transparent and voters across the state and across the political spectrum expect it to continue to operate this way."

The suit outlines that the current constitutional deadline is untenable, as it requires the commission to make maps available for 45 days of public comment starting on Sept. 17, even though the U.S. Census Bureaus won't have official data until Sept. 30.

The suit seeks to move the deadline for the commission to propose new legislative districts from Sept. 17 to Dec. 11, and for the final maps to be approved on January 25, 2022. This timeline would also ensure the Bureau of Elections has sufficient time to update the voter registration database in accordance with the new district lines and that local clerks can create and provide every voter with their correct ballot.

A copy of the suit can be found here.

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