For immediate release
Nov. 2, 2017
For more information contact
David Waymire: 517-485-6600
Voters Not Politicians hits 300,000 signatures, ready for major signature collection drive on Election Day
LANSING, MI – Voters Not Politicians, the grassroots organization committed to ending partisan gerrymandering by political parties, today announced it has reached the 300,000 mark in signatures for its constitutional amendment petition, and will be undertaking a vigorous collection effort on Election Day, November 7.
“We are excited about the outstanding efforts of our all-volunteer petition gatherers, and are confident we will be able to turn in sufficient signatures before the end of the year,” said Katie Fahey, president and treasurer of Voters Not Politicians. “Citizens are unhappy to learn that politicians get to choose their own voters instead of voters choosing them. Michigan is ready to end the extreme partisan gerrymandering, by both parties, that robs voters of their constitutional rights to hold representatives accountable at the ballot box.”
Voters will find Voters Not Politicians volunteers at polling places across the state, who will be sharing information while respecting state laws requiring a 100-foot buffer from polling places for electoral activities. By being at the polls, the volunteers will give voters a chance to sign the petition to end partisan gerrymandering and create a citizen-based redistricting system, if approved by voters in the November 2018 election.
Under current law, Democratic or Republican politicians and lobbyists draw legislative and congressional boundaries to benefit their interests. The Voters Not Politicians proposal would prevent politicians, lobbyists and their families from being involved in redistricting and put citizens in charge.
Fahey said the group is adding campaign structure to prepare for expected attacks by the political establishment during the Board of State Canvassers process, and is expanding communications capacity.
The group has hired Fraser Trebilcock, a noted law firm in Michigan, to bolster its legal resources. The firm will be focused on ensuring voters get an opportunity to have their say in 2018.
Lansing-based Martin Waymire, a public relations firm that has managed a number of successful statewide ballot campaigns, will assist with communications and other aspects of the campaign.
“We have come a long way in just a few short months,” said Fahey. “Not many people thought we could gather sufficient signatures with volunteers. We’re proving them wrong. Now we are preparing to protect our petition from partisan elites who want to deny to the public the transparency and citizen involvement our proposal will bring to redistricting.”
The initiative campaign needs 315,654 valid signatures to reach the ballot. The campaign expects to turn in about 400,000 to provide a strong cushion in case some are found invalid, although the petitions are being checked against voter databases to remove invalid signatures.
Voters Not Politicians is a nonpartisan, volunteer-driven organization dedicated to passing a state constitutional amendment to end gerrymandering by taking politicians and lobbyists out of the redistricting process and putting Michigan citizens in charge. Learn more at www.votersnotpoliticians.com.