(Sunday - February 28, 2021) - In the November election in 2018, Michigan voters amended the State constitution, to provide that citizens, not lawmakers, set the redistricting map for the State. Every 10 years following the U.S. Census, district lines for political offices must be redrawn in states across the country to accurately reflect their population. In Michigan, a randomly selected commission of citizens is responsible for drawing U.S. Congressional and Michigan State House and Senate district lines.

While the allocation of districts is required to be based solely on population, as per the recently conducted Census, the release of the Census data is expected to be delayed. Obviously, the Redistricting Commission can't even begin its work until Census figures are known.

It had been expected that the Census data would be available by the end of March, 2021. However, the Coronavirus pandemic has slowed both collection and processing of the data, making it hard too predict when it will become publicly available. Meanwhile, the Redistricting Commission is up against a November 31, 2021 deadline, by which time it is supposed to have all of its work completed.

The commission is composed of 13 randomly selected Michigan registered voters: four them affiliate with the Democratic Party, four affiliate with the Republican Party, and five do not affiliate with either major political party.

Legal experts say that there is no provision in the Constitutional amendment which would give any State official the power to alter the deadline date, though it is possible that the courts could intervene in a worst case scenario.

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