LANSING, Mich (AP) — A commission in charge of drawing new legislative and congressional maps for Michigan has been denied a deadline extension by the state Supreme Court despite a six month delay in the U.S. Census Bureau releasing data.
The current deadline for an initial proposal is Sept. 17, but the Census Bureau doesn’t expect to have tabulated data ready for the public until Sept. 30.
The court acknowledged Friday that it believes the commission has worked diligently and has been put in a difficult position to present fair voting maps. But the court says there isn’t a sufficient legal reason for it to preemptively extend the deadline.
“In modeling fairness and transparency, the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission petitioned the Michigan Supreme Court to seek relief in adopting maps for Michigan’s Congressional, House, and State districts by the constitutional deadline of November 1, 2021, due to the six-month delay in receiving tabulated Census delay. The U.S. Census Bureau cited the COVID-19 pandemic, hurricanes, and wildfires as the reasons for the delay. In her decision, Justice Elizabeth Welch acknowledged that the request for relief was due to no fault of the MICRC.
“To ensure accuracy and create fair maps through public engagement, the MICRC considers the DRAFT timeline and roadmap to complete its work. We look forward to our ongoing efforts to increase awareness and engagement in Michigan’s new redistricting process. For more information about Michigan’s new redistricting process, please visit www.Michigan.gov/MICRC or call 1-833-You-Draw, that’s 1-833-968-3729.”Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission