Anti-gerrymandering group defies odds with 2018 ballot drive

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) - (11/19/17) - An all-volunteer group of activists has defied the odds by collecting hundreds of thousands of voter signatures for a 2018 initiative to overhaul redistricting in Michigan - without having to pay a dime for a signature.

It's a rarity in state politics outside of anti-abortion ballot drives, which have had a large base of support within churches.

Voters Not Politicians, a ballot committee opposed to the partisan gerrymandering of congressional and legislative districts, is poised to turn in roughly 400,000 signatures by year's end. About 315,000 valid ones are needed.

The Legislature and governor now control the once-a-decade redistricting process, which has led to seats that are drawn to guarantee as many comfortable, uncompetitive districts as possible.

Under the proposed constitutional amendment, a commission of citizens would handle redistricting.

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