Group to hold town hall to discuss how districts are drawn

My 25, 2017

BRIMLEY —  Eastern UP residents will have a chance to learn about the tactics used to draw boundaries of congressional and legislative districts, and what can be done, at a town hall forum taking place in Brimley.

The forum will be held 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, May 27 at Jack’s Grub and Pub, 9915 W. 6 Mile Rd, Brimley, MI 49715.

The meeting, the most recent in a series of some three dozen such events that have been held around the state this spring, is sponsored by the non-partisan Voters Not Politicians Ballot Committee, in conjunction with the grassroots organization “Count MI Vote.”

“It is an obvious conflict of interest for lawmakers to create their own districts," said Katie Fahey, spokesperson for Voters Not Politicians. "It’s politicians choosing their voters, when it should be voters choosing their politicians. Whenever one political party has total control over the process, it inevitably writes maps that protect its own interests.”

Voters Not Politicians will propose amending the constitution so that a panel of Michigan citizens will decide the boundary lines for both congressional and state legislative districts. The current process is now controlled by the state Legislature and Governor.

The group plans to soon begin collecting signatures with a goal of placing a ballot initiative before Michigan voters in the November 2018 election. At least 315,654 valid signatures must be obtained within a 180-day period to place the amendment on the 2018 ballot. Admission to the event is free of charge.