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Redistricting drive a step closer to 2018 ballot

The Michigan state capitol building
Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0
Michigan Capitol Building, Lansing, Michigan

A petition campaign to overhaul the process for drawing the boundaries of legislative and congressional districts took a critical step today. Campaign volunteers turned in 188 boxes with more than 400,000 signatures. They are trying to get a proposed amendment to the state constitution on the ballot.

“They need more than 300,000 valid signatures to amend the constitution," said Fred Woodhams with the Michigan Bureau of Elections. He says the next step is for the agency to review the petitions and a send a report to a state elections board. "It would go to the Board of State Canvassers for approval, and if approved, it would go to voters in November.”

A couple hundred volunteers showed up at the state Bureau of Elections to deliver the boxes of petitions.

“Our proposal will take redistricting out of the hands of politicians and lobbyists who do their work behind closed doors, and bring it out into the public so, people are working on this," said Katie Fahey, one of the leaders of the drive, to a group of cheering supporters.

The proposal would create a 13-person independent redistricting commission that would convene after every U.S. Census. 

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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