Nonpartisan redistricting proponents are turning to midterm election referendums in key states where legislative leaders have signaled no desire to give up their authority on drawing political boundaries. Voters in four states — Michigan, Missouri, Colorado and Utah — will weigh in on ballot measures this November that would radically reshape the way congressional or legislative district lines are drawn. In those states, legislative leaders have the power to draw state legislative and congressional district lines, authority critics say they have used to safeguard incumbents. The initiatives, placed on the ballot by good-government groups and, in some states, by Democratic activists, would vest the power to draw district boundaries in the hands of independent commissions.
Earlier this year, Ohio voters approved a referendum placed on the primary ballot by state legislators, with the support of Gov. John Kasich (R), that created a commission to draw district lines.
The push to take authority away from state legislatures, coming two years before the next reapportionment process that begins with the 2020 Census, is part of a concerted effort from groups such as Common Cause and the League of Women Voters, as well as progressive groups hoping to regain a spot at the redistricting table, especially in states where Republican-dominated legislatures drew maps in 2012.
Full Article: Redistricting reformers turn to ballot initiatives | TheHill.