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Redistricting drive asks judge to order state board to do its job

someone writing on a ballot
Michael Dorausch
Flickr, http://j.mp/1SPGCl0
Not as many people vote in gubernatorial election years compared to Presidential election years.

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.

The board chair says he wants to see how legal challenges to the proposal play out. 

“The board of canvassers’ job and role is to certify that we got enough signatures," said Katie Fahey with the Voters Not Politicians campaign. "That’s the only thing we’re looking for them to do, and there’s no reason for them not to.”

Fahey says signature-gatherers have done their job. She says the campaign should get the top spot on the November ballot, and be in a position to take the case to voters.

“Being able to say we’re going to be on the ballot gives them a reason to pay attention, gives them a reason to pay attention, gives them more time, the Michigan voters, to make up their minds on whether they want to vote yes on an independent citizens redistricting commission,” Fahey said.

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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