Michigan redistricting commission to meet once again after death threat halted meeting

Posted at 8:23 AM, Oct 28, 2021

(WXYZ) — We're learning more about the death threat made towards the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission this week.

It happened on Wednesday in East Lansing at the MSU Student Union. The meeting was delayed for a few hours.

The commission was also taking heat from voters over their redistricting maps, saying they could be in violation of the Voting Rights Act.

The threat was sent to the commission's email on Tuesday but wasn't seen until Wednesday. Now, additional precautions are being taken to protect the commission members.

The commission has 13 members on it – four Democrats, four Republicans and five Independents.

There was a closed-door meeting to discuss the Voting Rights Act, and the history of discrimination in the State of Michigan and its influence in voting.

"No business transactions. No decisions took place. No deliberations took place at all. It was just simply to receive communications from our attorney," Edward Woods III, the communications and outreach director for the commission, said.

Police were called and launched an investigation into the threat. They swept the building and eventually gave the all-clear.

The meeting was delayed several hours. Currently, the commission is on a statewide tour holding five public hearings to get feedback on draft congressional and legislative districts before taking a vote to adopt them.

Michigan's Department of Civil Rights said it was concerned.

After the public comment, the commission held the closed-door session to discuss legal memos that addressed the criticisms they got from concerned voters.

That session was being live-streamed but on mute, and could be in violation of the state's constitution, which said "the commission shall conduct all of its business at open meetings."

Police are investigating the death threat. Once we learn more, we will let you know.