League of Women Voters to host town hall on redistricting process

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN — Every 10 years, Michigan redraws its voting districts. This year, instead of the legislature drawing voting districts, the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission will be drawing the new voting district lines.

The Michigan League of Women Voters is sponsoring statewide educational programs aimed at familiarizing citizens with the redistricting process and showing them how they can participate.

The League of Women Voters of Berrien and Cass Counties will host a virtual Town Hall via Zoom at 7 p.m. Thursday to present a program explaining the work of the MICRC and how Communities of Interest can be a part of the redistricting process. The link is listed on the League’s website lwvbcc.org.

A Community of Interest is a population in a geographic area that shares cultural, historical or economic interests. COIs do not include relationships with political parties, incumbents, or political candidates.

LWVBCC is offering information to local organizations to explain how they may represent a COI in Berrien and Cass counties. Residents can attend the town hall to learn how to be a part of the redistricting process and help make sure all the citizens in their county, city, town or township are fairly represented in the state legislature and Congress, officials said., The Michigan League of Women Voters, through its local chapters, is ready to assist COIs in preparing testimony and draft maps for the MICRC hearings.

The MICRC has scheduled hearings across the state to gather data from COIs. The input of the COIs will greatly help the commission in drawing districts that have common interests and making sure that communities are not divided among different representatives, League representatives said. The closest public hearing is in Kalamazoo on May 13.

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