A meeting held by the independent group tasked with redistricting in Michigan was delayed for several hours Wednesday due to a death threat.
“At 1:06 pm today, the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission received notification of a death threat received by email. We alerted law enforcement and they opened an investigation, ”said Edward Woods III, the group’s director of communications and outreach. NBC News in a sentence.
The meeting was scheduled to take place at the Michigan State University Student Union and was intended to allow Michigan residents to provide input on the proposed district maps.
No details about the death threat have been released. Shortly after the e-mailed threat was seen, campus police were notified. Police swept the building and cleared it for the meeting.
The Michigan State Police have now opened an investigation into the threat.
“Since then, the Michigan State Department has requested that this matter be further investigated by the Michigan State Police. This investigation is in the preliminary stages; there is no threat to the public at this time,” said a Michigan State Police spokesman, according to NBC.
The 13-member committee is currently on a statewide tour holding public meetings for comment. Unlike most other states, Michigan’s redistricting is done by the independent commission, rather than legislators, because of a ballot measure that was approved by voters in 2018.
The commission is made up of four Democrats, four Republicans, and five independents.
Julianne Pastula, an attorney for the commission, said the shortened portion of the public comment from Wednesday’s meeting was a direct result of the death threat, NBC reported.
“The commission, if it calls the meeting, has to accept public comment, and so the time was shortened to 30 seconds for public comment; the commission wanted to finish the matter before dark,” Pastula said. during a press conference.
Following public comments, the commission held a closed-door meeting to address criticism from voters. Some critics have accused the commission’s proposed map of violating the Voting Rights Act.
“There are no commercial transactions. No decisions were made. No deliberation took place. It was simply to receive communications from our attorney, “ABC affiliate Woods said of the meeting. W X Y Z reported.
The Hill has contacted MSU campus police and Michigan State Police for more information on the alleged death threat.
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) told NBC in a statement that the threat was an “affront to all Michigan residents.”
“There is no room for violence or the threat of violence in our democracy, and today’s deadly threat against the citizen commissioners and the staff of Michigan’s independent redistricting commission is an affront to all Michigan residents,” Benson said. “However, I remain confident that they will not be intimidated or deterred from carrying out their constitutional duty and redrawing the legislative maps in the service of all voters in our great state.”