Michigan has its first-ever Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission.   Voters approved a new system to draw legislative districts in 2018. One of the 13 chosen is Cynthia Orton, of Battle Creek.  On her application, Cynthia stated, "I am not overly political, but I do take voting seriously and I care about the process of electing officials.  I would like to participate in the process of making sure individual votes count and that elected officials represent the will of the majority of their constituents. If chosen, I would be happy to be able to serve and work with others to find common ground and best possible redistricting solutions."

Nearly 10,000 Michiganders had applied to serve on the Commission during a months-long application process. Under the state Constitution, the pool was narrowed to 200 applications by a previous random selection.

After that, the State House and Senate minority and majority leaders were allowed to toss out five names each, to narrow the field to 180.

Today, the random drawing was held to select the 13 commissioners.   The independent accounting firm, Rehman LLC, made those final selections.   Each new commissioner will make $40,000. The commission's first meeting will be held sometime before Oct. 15.

The commission will be tasked with adopting a redistricting plan for Michigan State House, Michigan State Senate, and U.S. Congressional Districts by Nov. 1, 2021. The maps will become law and take effect by Dec. 31, 2021, in time for the 2022 election cycle.

The commission will be diverse, with ages ranging from 28 to 73.  There are 7 men and 6 women.   Two commissioners identified as Black.  One identified as Middle Eastern.

Republicans

Cynthia Orton, of Battle Creek, 54, white female

Erin Wagner of Charlotte, 54, white female

Rhonda Lange, Reed City, 54, white female

Douglas Clark, Rochester Hills, 73, white male

Democrats

M. Rothorn, Lansing, 48, white male

Juanita Curry, Detroit, 72, black female

Dustin Witjess, Ypsilanti, 31, white male

Brittni Kellom, Detroit, 34, black female

Not Affiliated with Either Party

Janice Vallette, Highland, 68, white female

James Decker, Fowlerville, 59, white male

Richard Weiss, Saginaw, 73, white male

Steven Lett, Interlochen, 73, white male

Anthony Eid, Orchard Lake, 28, middle eastern male

To see the list of all the semi-finalists, and those rejected by the legislature, click here. 

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