Group Seeks to Ease Mich. Ballot Initiative Rules

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- The Michigan elections board has given the go-ahead to a group planning a ballot drive to ease the rules for ballot drives.

The board on Thursday approved the form of a petition turned in by the group Put the Citizens in Charge. The constitutional amendment would extend the power of citizen initiative and referendum to local governments and prohibit lawmakers from moving to stop the practice of paying people to collect signatures.

The proposal also would let anyone gather signatures regardless of their residency and allow signatures to be valid for a longer period of time.

The group has until July 7 to collect roughly 322,000 valid signatures to put the measure on the November ballot.

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