The 2011 “Michigan Citizens’ Redistricting Competition” will provide any Michigan citizen with the tools to produce potential district maps for Michigan’s 14 Congressional Seats, or Michigan’s state senate or legislative seats. The maps will be then scored based upon objective criteria, such as how well they keep county and city residents in one district or how close each district comes to having the same number of people.
The competition’s goal is to demonstrate that an open, transparent redistricting process based on objective criteria and citizen input can produce fair legislative districts for Michigan voters. Similar competitions were recently held in Virginia and Ohio. Each demonstrated that an open, transparent redistricting process based on objective criteria and citizen input can produce fair legislative districts in Michigan.
A nonpartisan panel of five judges will evaluate and score all of the plans. The plans that comply with state and federal law and best meet the objective criteria will be published online and submitted to the Michigan Legislature for consideration.
The contest is a nonpartisan project of the Michigan Center for Election Law and Administration, in partnership with the Michigan Redistricting Collaborative.
Panel of Judges
- Jowei Chen, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Michigan
- Kristen Clarke, Esq. Co-Director of Political Participation Project, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund
- Marcia Johnson-Blanco, Esq., Co-Director of Voting Rights Project, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights
- Kurt Metzger, Director, Data Driven Detroit
- Anthony Salciccioli, Teacher, Clarenceville Public Schools _ President-Elect, Michigan Council on Social Studies
- Jeff Williams, Chief Executive Officer, Public Sector Consultants
- Hal Ziegler, Former Republican State Senator, Michigan State Senate
Jocelyn Benson is the Creator and Director of the Michigan Citizens’ Redistricting Competition. She is the founder and CEO of the Michigan Center for Election Law and Administration, and is a law professor at Wayne State University Law School. Benson teaches Election law and has published the first major book on the role of the Secretary of State in enforcing election and campaign finance laws. In 2010 she was the Michigan Democratic Party’s candidate for Secretary of State.
Jocelyn has also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Damon J. Keith on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. After earning her B.A. at Wellesley College, Jocelyn began her career at the Southern Poverty Law Center, investigating hate groups and hate crimes throughout the country. She earned a Master of Philosophy as a Marshall Scholar at Oxford University in the United Kingdom, and subsequently earned her law degree from Harvard Law School.
Jocelyn can be reached at info@MichiganRedistricting.org