Groups eye MI redistricting ballot drive

This April 16, 2015 photo shows the Michigan Capitol in Lansing, Mich.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Advocates of overhauling how Michigan draws legislative and congressional seats plan to raise public awareness about redistricting in preparation for a potential 2016 ballot initiative.

A U.S. Supreme Court decision issued this week upheld the authority of states to strip lawmakers’ authority to set congressional maps once a decade. Arizona voters had created an independent commission to take the politically charged job out of the hands of the Legislature.

The League of Women Voters and other Michigan groups are researching the redistricting issue before ramping up planned educational efforts. They say gerrymandering districts to favor political parties is a problem because it does not reflect voter sentiment.

Some experts doubt a commission would remove partisanship from the process. Others say geography also is responsible for unbalanced districts.

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