Petitions submitted for redistricting ballot drive

The sign outside a precinct in Walker welcomes voters during the March 8, 2016 primary.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A group that opposes the political gerrymandering of Michigan’s congressional and legislative districts has submitted more than 425,000 signatures for a 2018 ballot drive.

The proposed constitutional amendment would create an independent commission to redraw the lines once a decade. The process is now controlled by the Legislature and governor, and is being criticized as too partisan.

More than 100 volunteers with the Voters Not Politicians ballot committee stood in a cold rain Monday to turn in boxes of petitions at the state Bureau of Elections in Lansing. They gathered the signatures without paying paid circulators, which is rare in Michigan politics outside of ballot drives for anti-abortion measures.

Voters Not Politicians says its success shows voters are tired of politicians who “rig the system.”