July 20, 2023
July 20, 2023
Lansing, Mich. – Hours after the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission voted to abruptly quit its investigation into the hire of Commissioner Anthony Eid by liberal group, Michigan Voices, Michigan Rising Action revealed the results of its inquiry into Michigan Voices’ involvement in the map-drawing process.
During a July 3 press conference, Commission executive director Edward Woods III told the Detroit News’ Beth LeBlanc that Michigan Voices was “recognized” by the commission at its April 2022 meeting and that the group was “instrumental in planning…a couple of town halls.”
Michigan Rising Action requested via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) any and all communication between Commissioners and representatives from Michigan Voices or, its former name, Michigan Voice, between April 2021 and May 2022. The Department of State replied on July 11 that it had no such records.
Michigan Rising Action was able to substantiate that on April 15, 2021, Edward Woods listed Michigan Voices as one of the organizations participating in the Commission’s biweekly communication and outreach meetings.
“It is concerning that Michigan Voices could apparently participate in biweekly meetings and plan two town halls on behalf of the Commission without exchanging a single email,” said Abby Mitch, executive director of Michigan Rising Action. “Today’s decision by the Commission to abandon its responsibility to ensure ethical conduct between Commissioners and interest groups only compounds serious questions about what type of influence these interest groups had on the map-drawing process and whether there are sufficient guardrails in place.”