Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Bierlein calls for transparency, accountability as accusations mount against state commission
RELEASE|December 20, 2023

State Rep. Matthew Bierlein said answers are needed to address a recent report that the head of Michigan’s Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission may have worked to tailor individual districts to certain candidates, as well as another report that disclosed multiple members of the commission may be living out of state.

According to the Detroit News report, two commissioners filed a notice last week with the Department of State seeking to declare Commissioner Anthony Eid’s seat vacant due to “neglect of duty, gross misconduct in office, or inability to discharge the duties of his office.”

The notice alleges that Eid coordinated with Michigan House candidates regarding map drawing that took place prior to the Nov. 2022 election.

“If this allegation has merit, Commissioner Eid should resign his position,” said Bierlein, of Vassar. “This would present a massive conflict of interest, and the commission has already been plagued with reports of these situations. It is important for the state to get answers on this matter. The people of our state deserve to know that these processes were done fairly and as voters intended when they approved these redistricting measures.”

Bierlein has previously called for additional transparency for the commission. In June, he sent a letter to Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson urging support for a formal vetting process for commissioners following reports that examined the past partisan leanings of Eid and others. 

“These reports have brought into question Commissioner Eid’s identity as an independent on this panel. He was hired by a liberal advocacy group that collected signatures for a pro-abortion ballot initiative and has supported Democrat candidates consistently in the past. At some point, we have to take this at face value.”

A separate report from the Detroit News detailed the continued service of two members who are currently living out of state while serving on the commission – information that raises ethical questions and could pose problems if the panel is pressed into redrawing maps.

Bierlein supported a recent call from state Rep. Ann Bollin asking Benson to look into the status and legality of the out-of-state commissioners. Bierlein also supported Bollin’s call to audit the state’s qualified voter file given the revelations, as it may be an indicator of instances of abuse regarding absentee voting.

“The two commissioners in question have been living outside of Michigan for more than a year while collecting taxpayer money for their work on a commission developed by and for the people of Michigan,” Bierlein said. “I don’t think people are taking issue with these two individuals for moving out of state if they took a new job or encountered a health situation. They’re concerned that they aren’t living or paying taxes in Michigan and still making decisions that impact Michigan voters and families – and these commissioners won’t be subjected to the consequences of those decisions because they live out of state.

“It’s time to inject some transparency and common sense into how this commission is operating, instead of continuing with abusive practices that make people question the processes of state government more than they already do.”

Michigan House Republicans

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