| Detroit Free Presss turned in more than 425,000 petition signatures to the Secretary of State Monday in an effort to recast how political district lines are drawn in the state. Volunteers for the group have been ubiquitous across the state, collecting the necessary 315,654 petition signatures from registered Michigan voters that are needed to get the constitutional amendment on the ballot. With a cushion of more than 100,000 signatures, the group is confident that a review of the petitions will survive and the issue will get on the November 2018 ballot. “The people of Michigan have come together to make it clear they want voters to choose their politicians, not the other way around,” said Katie Fahey, president of the group. “Michigan voters in November will have the opportunity to fix that system to bring transparency and accountability back into our democracy.”
The ballot proposal would change the Michigan constitution to create an independent citizen commission to draw political lines, taking the role away from the Legislature.
The proposal would establish a 13-member independent citizens commission on which independent voters would have five members, and Republican and Democratic parties would each have four.
Elected officials, lobbyists, party officials and other political insiders would be ineligible to serve on the commission, which would hold public hearings before approving proposed district maps by majority vote, with at least two votes required from each of the three groups represented on the commission.