Detroit City Council election reform heads to November ballot
DETROIT, Michigan: This week the Detroit Election Commission voted in favor of placing Proposal D, also known as the Detroit Council Election Reform Referendum on the November 3, 2009 ballot in Wayne County. The commission voted 2 to 1. The measure proposes creating districts for seven council members and having two at-large members. Currently, the nine council members can reside anywhere in the city and are not restricted by district lines. Just two weeks ago referendum supporters submitted approximately 30,000 signatures, enough to meet the required 28,000 signatures to place the measure on the ballot. The measure requires a simple majority to pass. Former state Rep. Steve Tobocman, who helped collected signatures, said,"I live in southwest Detroit and no one represents me." The signature drive was also backed by the League of Women Voters in Detroit.
Although the referendum was approved for the November ballot, the measure may still face some legal problems. On Monday, August 26, the Attorney General's Office wrote in a letter that the petition language was not clear enough to go on the ballot.