Gerrymandering Petition Approved in Michigan

BY BTL STAFF

The Michigan Board of Canvassers granted unanimous approval for Voters Not Politicians to circulate petitions on Aug. 17 for a 2018 ballot proposal that would change the state constitution to end political gerrymandering in the state.

The group has started signature collection through an all-volunteer effort to reform the rules by 2020.

State elections officials said the proposed constitutional amendment - which would establish a 13-member citizens commission made up of five independent voters and four each from the two major parties - was one of the most complex they'd ever reviewed.

"We are working to end partisan control by either party," Kirk Haverkamp of Voters Not Politicians told the Metro Times. "Gerrymandering disenfranchises voters of both parties, as well as independents, by locking them into districts where their votes don't matter. It also results in the election of more extreme candidates, because elections in gerrymandered 'safe' districts tend to be determined in the primaries, which are dominated by party loyalists."

The group will have to collect nearly 316,000 valid signatures to get the proposal on the November 2018 ballot. More information is available at online at http://votersnotpoliticians.com/findthepetition.


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