2018 Proposal 2 | Michigan Radio
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2018 Proposal 2

Voters Not Politicians

In 2018, Michiganders voted to pass Proposal 2, a redistricting amendment that would create an independent commission to draw legislative and congressional district maps. Voters Not Politicians, the nonprofit organization that collected signatures to get the amendment on the ballot, is now taking steps to form that commission.

Prior to Prop 2, whichever party was in control in Lansing was responsible for drawing district maps.

Graphic of the outline of the state of Michigan on a red and blue background with the text "Michigan Midterms 2018"
Natalie Brennan

Today on Stateside, breaking down the results of the midterm elections, which saw record high numbers of voters participate. Plus, the leaders behind the ballot proposals to legalize recreational marijuana and change how congressional district lines are drawn talk about what comes next, after voters approved both measures. 

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

Redistricting proposal passes in Michigan

Nov 6, 2018

Voters have overwhelmingly passed Proposal 18-2, amending the Michigan Constitution to move redistricting out of the Legislature and to a commission.

The proposal did well all across the state.

The proposal, which amends the Michigan Constitution, creates an independent citizen commission that will redraw the congressional district lines every 10 years.

 

Today on Stateside, two consultants on opposite sides of the political spectrum recapped Wednesday night's gubernatorial debate. Plus, our “Work in Progress” series features a conversation between two Catholic priests, one just beginning his career, and the other recently retired. 

Schuette and Whitmer trade barbs one last time in final debate before Election Day 

 

GovTrack

As we move towards the midterm elections on November 6, Stateside has been having conversations with statewide candidates. Today, we speak to two of the candidates runnning in Michigan's 7th Congressional District, Republican incumbent Tim Walberg, and his Democratic opponent Gretchen Driskell

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan voters go to the polls in a little more than two weeks.

Supporters and opponents of a ballot question on gerrymandering hope to convince voters to flip to the other side of the ballot.

Michigan's 14th congressional district
Public Domain

Update, November 7, 2018:

Michiganders passed Proposal 2 on November 6, drastically changing the way districts are drawn in the state. Read our article about what the proposal will do below.

Voters Not Politicians

A group promoting a ballot initiative to redraw Michigan's voting districts got an unexpected boost with a $250,000 contribute from a national group. The funds came from the National Redistricting Action Fund, an affiliate of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, which is headed by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. 

Vote Here sign
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Last week, the Michigan legislature adopted the minimum wage increase initiative, officially taking it off the November ballot. The legislature had previously adopted two other initiatives, paid sick leave and repealing the prevailing wage.

Now, only three proposals will appear on the November ballot, and the state elections board has finalized the language for all three. 

Voters Not Politicians

The Board of State Canvassers has until September 7th to finalize ballot language for an anti-gerrymandering ballot proposal -- but on Tuesday, the group Voters Not Politicians filed a lawsuit demanding they approve language sooner.

woman signing petition
Courtesy of Voters Not Politicians

The legal challenges are over for an anti-gerrymandering ballot proposal. In a 4 to 3 vote, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the question is cleared to appear on November’s ballot.

michigan hall of justice building
Wikimedia Commons

An initiative to change how Michigan draws its political boundaries is headed for the November ballot.

In a 4-3 ruling late Tuesday night, the Michigan Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit challenging a redistricting ballot proposal.

Michigan Supreme Court
Michigan Supreme Court

 

The Voters Not Politicians proposal is on the ballot this fall. It would establish an independent commission to draw the legislative and congressional district boundaries instead of allowing the party in power to draw them. If it passes, it would put an end to gerrymandering.

The party in power, the Republicans, want it off the ballot. 

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Some supporters of an anti-gerrymandering ballot proposal are targeting the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, and particularly board chairman Mark Davidoff, over the Chamber’s support for a lawsuit that aims to get the proposal removed from the November ballot.

Vote Here sign
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for a lawsuit about a ballot proposal to change how Michigan draws political districts.

Voters Not Politicians is the group behind the measure, which would put a 13-member commission in charge of redistricting, instead of the state Legislature. It says the proposal meets all the requirements of a voter-initiated constitutional amendment. But a group opposed to the measure, Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution, disagrees. It says the proposal goes beyond what’s allowed for this type of ballot proposal.

Michigan's 14th congressional district
Public Domain

Michigan really does has a gerrymandering problem, according to a non-partisan group’s report.

A group trying to get a redistricting measure on the November ballot says arguments against the measure by the state Attorney General are redundant.

Schuette submitted a brief to the Michigan Supreme Court – it’s currently deciding if it will look at a court case filed by a group that wants to keep the proposal off the ballot. This comes after a 3-0 decision by the Michigan Court of Appeals that ordered the state’s election committee to send the proposal to the ballot.

Rick Pluta / MPRN

A state elections board has complied with a court order to place a question on the November ballot.  It would change how congressional and legislative district boundaries are drawn.

A jubilant crowd broke out in cheers as the Board of State Canvassers voted to put the Voters Not Politicians question on the November ballot. Voters Not Politicians leader Katie Fahey says the group has already started voter outreach efforts.

“We are eager and excited to go fixing our state,” she said. “…We look forward to being in the November 6, 2018, ballot.”

The proposal to change how Michigan draws the lines for congressional and legislative districts is about to go on the ballot. But, will it stay there?

The question to create an independent commission to handle the job of redistricting is poised to become Proposal 2 on the November ballot. The group that gives the OK to what questions make it on the ballot meets Wednesday.

Update, June 13 at 10:30 a.m.:

The group Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution has filed an appeal with the state Supreme Court and asked the justices to put an immediate hold on the lower court decision that would place the question on the November ballot.

Judge's gavel with books on a desk
Pixabay.com

A proposal to change the way the state draws its political district lines must go on the November ballot. The Michigan Court of Appeals denied a request to keep a measure by the group Voters Not Politicians off the ballot.

The opposition group, Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution, said the redistricting proposal was essentially a redrafting of the state Constitution. 

someone writing on a ballot
Michael Dorausch / Flickr, http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A campaign to amend the Michigan Constitution is asking a judge to order a state board to certify its question for the November ballot.

The amendment would create an independent commission to handle drawing legislative and congressional district lines. The campaign says that would take partisan politics out of the re-districting process.

Republicans don’t like the proposal. And this week, the Republican chair of the Board of State Canvassers abruptly canceled a meeting to certify the campaign had gathered enough petition signatures to qualify for the ballot.

Judge's gavel with books
Pixabay.com

A panel of three judges ruled on Wednesday a gerrymandering lawsuit raised by members of Michigan’s League of Women Voters and several other Democrats will proceed.

The suit was filed in December against the Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, who is the chief election officer of the state. It challenges the congressional and state legislative maps, which the plaintiffs say unfairly benefit Republicans.   

The Secretary of State's office moved to have the case dismissed, saying there were no grounds for a statewide case.

Michigan's 13th congressional district
WikiCommons

Voters Not Politicians is the group working to get a proposal on the ballot to end gerrymandering. They are proposing that an independent commission draw congressional and legislative districts to avoid gerrymandering districts in favor of one party or another.

Some Republicans say Voters Not Politicians is a front-group for the Democrats. In fact, it’s likely a Republican-backed group will challenge the ballot initiative in court in an attempt to kill it before voters get their say in the matter.

Michigan's 13th congressional district
Wikipedia

Just in case you were wondering, I’m not running for the vacant seat in Michigan’s 13th Congressional District. I’m not trying to start rumors. I’m not running for anything, and can’t imagine I ever would. I’m a journalist, not a politician.

PUBLIC DOMAIN

Gerrymandering, the drawing of a political district map to specifically give advantage to an incumbent, or to a political party, is an issue across the nation. It’s a way of watering down the will of the voters by drawing irregular lines on the map to pack the voters you don’t want into one district, while leaving another district easily won by your party.

In Michigan, that’s resulted in a disproportionate number of Republican legislators and members of Congress, compared to how the state votes.

Michigan's 14th congressional district
Public Domain

The Michigan League of Women voters is taking on the state. It says Michigan's legislative districts as currently drawn are unfair. It accuses the state and Republican controlled Legislature of drawing the district lines in secret back in 2011, then rushing the electoral map through the legislative process.

The lawsuit asks a court to declare the current electoral map unconstitutional. It also asks the court to require the state to redraw the lines fairly.

We could see the most dramatic change to Michigan politics since term limits. This afternoon, an all-volunteer group is one step closer to overhauling how redistricting is done in Michigan.

Voters Not Politicians

A grassroots group of citizen activists opposed to partisan gerrymandering is making rapid progress toward its goal of getting a redistricting proposal on the ballot in Michigan in 2018.

An all-volunteer force, about 4,ooo strong and spread over 83 Michigan counties, has collected about 450,000 voter signatures in four months. That's according to Katie Fahey, president of the ballot committee called Voters Not Politicians.

"We have blown our goal out of the water," said Fahey.

The origin of the term "gerrymandering" comes from a political cartoon from March of 1812. This was drawn in reaction to the newly-drawn state senate election district of South Essex created by the Massachusetts legislature.
J. Albert Bowden II / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

If you’ve been to a fall festival or any kind of carnival in the state lately, chances are there was a booth there for Voters Not Politicians.

That group is gathering signatures to get a proposal on the ballot. It wants an independent commission to draw the congressional and legislative districts to avoid gerrymandering districts in favor of one party or the other.