Michigan voters pass all 3 ballot proposals: marijuana, redistricting, voter registration

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LANSING (WJRT) (11/6/2018) - Michigan voters overwhelmingly approved all three statewide ballot proposals that will have sweeping effects.

The Associated Press projected all three would pass with nearly 60 percent or larger margins after more than half of the precincts in the state reported.

Proposal 1, which will legalize recreational marijuana, was the closest of the three races but still led with 58 percent of the vote. The approval makes Michigan the 10th state to legalize recreational marijuana.

Healthy and Productive Michigan said in a statement Tuesday night that "our side lost" the measure that if approved will make the state the first in the Midwest to legalize its sale and use. The group adds "the level of responsibility ... now rests on the shoulders of those who have voted Yes."

Opponents say legalizing marijuana would lead to increased use by children, drug abuse and car crashes. Supporters say it will raise roughly $130 million in additional tax revenue each year that will go toward road repairs, schools and local governments.

Proposal 2, which will set up a nonpartisan redistricting committee to draw new legislative districts every 10 years, won 61 percent of the vote.

The ballot measure could alter the balance of power in a state Republicans have controlled since 2010.

The measure's proponents say it will stop partisan gerrymandering, in which the party in power draws electoral maps to maintain or improve its position.

Instead, it will entrust the once-a-decade process to a commission of citizens that will include four Democrats, four Republicans and five members who aren't affiliated with either party.

Opponents say the measure will take power away from those elected to represent the people and give it to an unelected panel.

An Associated Press statistical analysis of the 2016 election results found that Michigan's state House districts had one of the largest Republican tilts in the nation, trailing only South Dakota's.

Proposal 3, which would change voter registration and election laws, passed with the widest margin at 68 percent in favor.

The wide-ranging constitutional amendment will allow people to register and vote on the day on an election, request absentee ballots without having to give a reason and cast straight-ticket ballots.

The ballot measure approved Tuesday will also automatically register people to vote when they obtain or renew a driver's license or conduct some other type of business with the secretary of state's office, unless they opt out.

The measure's backers, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, the League of Women Voters and NAACP branches, say it will make voting more accessible and secure.

Its opponents, including some prominent Republicans, argued that some of the measure's provisions are duplicative and that it would add more bureaucracy and regulations.

Even with the approvals, the Michigan Legislature now must craft laws that accomplish the goals of each proposal before they become law.

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