Battle Creek Woman Picked for Redistricting Commission
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.
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
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.