Statewide Ballot Proposals

On Nov. 6, 2018, voters throughout Michigan will be weighing in on three statewide ballot proposals: 1) to regulate marijuana like alcohol; 2) to create an independent citizens redistricting commission (Voters Not Politicians); and 3) to make voting more accessible through several changes to the state constitution (Promote the Vote).

Remember: Ann Arbor residents will also vote on three city proposals and one Washtenaw County proposal.

For a list of all ballot proposals in communities throughout Washtenaw County, check out the county elections websiteAnd if you're ready to see a SAMPLE BALLOTclick here.


Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol

This proposal would legalize marijuana for recreational use for adults over the age of 21, and allow the state to levy taxes on its sale.

If approved, this proposal would:

  • Legalize the possession and sale of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for personal, recreational use for people over the age of 21. You could also keep up to 10 ounces of marijuana at home.

  • Tax marijuana sales with a 10% excise tax at the point of sale, in addition to the state's 6% sales tax.

  • Split the tax revenues in the following way: 35% for K-12 education, 35% for roads, 15% to communities that allow marijuana businesses in their jurisdictions, and 15% to counties where marijuana businesses are located.

  • Let communities decide whether to allow marijuana businesses in their jurisdictions.

  • Require testing and safe transportation of marijuana in Michigan.

If this proposal passes, Michigan would be the 10th state to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use. A previous ballot proposal in 2008, approved by 63% of Michigan voters, allowed medical marijuana to be sold in this state.

A group called the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is advocating for this proposal and collected signatures to place it on the Nov. 6 ballot. Here’s a link to that group's campaign finance information. Jeff Irwin, an Ann Arbor resident who's running for state senate in District 18, served as political director for this proposal.

It's opposed by Healthy and Productive Michigan, a group that’s backed by the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

The State Board of Canvassers approved the ballot language on Sept. 6, 2018.

Link to Ballotpedia page for this proposal.

Here's what you'll see on the ballot:

Proposal 18-01: A proposed initiated law to authorize and legalize possession, use and cultivation of marijuana products by individuals who are at least 21 years of age and older, and commercial sales of marijuana through state-licensed retailers.

This proposal would:

• Allow individuals 21 and older to purchase, possess and use marijuana and marijuana-infused edibles, and grow up to 12 marijuana plants for personal consumption.

• Impose a 10-ounce limit for marijuana kept at residences and require amounts over 2.5 ounces be secured in locked containers.

• Create a state licensing system for marijuana businesses and allow municipalities to ban or restrict them.

• Permit retail sales of marijuana and edibles subject to a 10% tax, dedicated to implementation costs, clinical trials, schools, roads, and municipalities where marijuana businesses are located.

• Change several current violations from crimes to civil infractions.

Should this proposal be adopted?


In the News: Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol

Guide to the 2018 Michigan ballot proposalsBridge Magazine, Sept. 12, 2018

Poll: Marijuana proposal support high, redistricting muddled Detroit News, Sept. 11, 2018

These are the ballot proposals Michiganders will vote on this NovemberMichigan Radio, Sept. 11, 2018

Board sets final language for proposal to legalize recreational potDetroit Free Press, Sept. 6, 2018

Marijuana legalization boiled down to 100 words for November ballotDetroit Free Press, Aug. 31, 2018

At The Ballot Box: These Four States Could Legalize Some Form Of Marijuana In NovemberForbes, Aug. 21, 2018

Campaign for legal pot in Michigan getting off to a slow startDetroit Free Press, July 26, 2018

Have You Made Up Your Mind Yet On Legalizing Recreational Marijuana Use In Michigan?WEMU, July 2, 2018

Voters will decide marijuana legalization after Legislature fails to actDetroit Free Press, June 5, 2018

Anti-marijuana group considering all options, including lawsuits, to keep pot illegal in MichiganMichigan Radio, April 27, 2018

Michigan pot legalization push faces new oppositionDetroit News, Feb. 10, 2018

The man campaigning to derail marijuana legalization in Michigan makes his caseDetroit Metro Times, Jan. 24, 2018


Create an Independent Redistricting Commission

This proposal would amend the Michigan Constitution to replace the existing partisan process of drawing legislative districts. Critics of the current process say it results in gerrymandering to favor the political party in power. If this proposal is approved, a commission of citizens appointed by the Michigan Secretary of State would be in charge of redistricting every 10 years, following the U.S. Census.

The grassroots Voters Not Politicians collected signatures to place this proposal on the Nov. 6 ballot. Opponents include a group called Citizens Protecting Michigan's Constitution, which filed suit to prevent the proposal from being placed on the ballot. Attorney General Bill Schuette, who's now the Republican candidate for governor, also weighed in against the ballot proposal, arguing that it would create a "fourth branch of government."

On a 4-3 vote, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the proposal could go on the Nov. 6 ballot. The State Board of Canvassers approved the ballot language on Aug. 30, 2018.

Link to Voters Not Politicians website and to that group's campaign finance information

Link to Ballotpedia page for this proposal.

Here's exactly what you'll see on the ballot:

Proposal 18-02: A proposed constitutional amendment to establish a commission of citizens with exclusive authority
to adopt district boundaries for the Michigan Senate, Michigan House of Representatives and U.S. Congress, every 10 years.

This proposed constitutional amendment would:

• Create a commission of 13 registered voters randomly selected by the Secretary of State:

o 4 each who self-identify as affiliated with the 2 major political parties; and
o 5 who self-identify as unaffiliated with major political parties.

• Prohibit partisan officeholders and candidates, their employees, certain relatives, and lobbyists from serving as commissioners.

• Establish new redistricting criteria including geographically compact and contiguous districts of equal population, reflecting Michigan’s diverse population and communities of interest. Districts shall not provide disproportionate advantage to political parties or candidates.

• Require an appropriation of funds for commission operations and commissioner compensation.

Should this proposal be adopted?


In the News: Create an Independent Redistricting Commission

Guide to the 2018 Michigan ballot proposalsBridge Magazine, Sept. 12, 2018

Poll: Marijuana proposal support high, redistricting muddled Detroit News, Sept. 11, 2018

Opinion: McCain worked to end gerrymanderingDetroit News, Sept. 11, 2018

Letters: Voters Not Politicians a volunteer effortDetroit News, Sept. 10, 2018

Finley: Make ballot measures go awayDetroit News, Sept. 8, 2018

Truth Squad | A video attacks Michigan redistricting proposal Bridge Magazine, Sept. 6, 2018

These are the ballot proposals Michiganders will vote on this NovemberMichigan Radio, Sept. 11, 2018

Michigan redistricting group scores 'minor win' with ballot summary changeDetroit News, Aug. 30, 2018

Here’s how Michigan’s redistricting commission would workBridge Magazine, Aug. 30, 2018

Clement criticized for redistricting decision, still earns Supreme Court nominationMLive, Aug. 25, 2018

Op-Ed: Let Michigan residents vote on redistrictingTraverse City Eagle, Aug. 24, 2018

Proponents wrangle over ballot language on redistrictingDetroit News, Aug. 17, 2018

What’s Next In Michigan’s Gerrymandering Debate?WDET, Aug. 15, 2018

In The Public Interest: Who Should Decide Michigan's Voting Districts?WEMU, Aug. 13, 2018

Why are these elected officials so afraid of the voters?CNN, Aug. 9, 2018

Michigan Supreme Court votes 4-3 to keep redistricting proposal on ballotBridge Magazine, July 31, 2018

Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution v. Sec’y of StateBrennan Center for Justice, July 31, 2018

Bill Schuette asks Michigan Supreme Court to reject redistricting proposalBridge Magazine, June 26, 2018

Redistricting group has signatures, still fighting to make ballotDetroit News, May 24, 2018

Group fights anti-gerrymandering plan in courtDetroit News, April 27, 2018


Make Voting More Accessible (Promote the Vote)

The Promote the Vote proposal, if approved, would amend the state constitution to allow no-reason absentee voting, give military members additional time to vote, let citizens register to vote anytime with proof of residency, allow straight-party voting, protect secret ballots and require audits for election results.

Currently, residents can only vote absentee if they cite one of the reasons allowed by law, such as being out of town on Election Day or being physically unable to get to the polls. And straight-party voting is now banned in Michigan, following state legislation to outlaw it and subsequent unsuccessful court challenges.

This proposal is backed the ACLU, the League of Women Voters of Michigan, the Detroit chapter of the NAACP and the Michigan League for Public Policy. The State Board of Canvassers approved the ballot language on Sept. 7, 2018.

A group called Protect the Vote, backed by conservatives, is opposed to this ballot initiative.

Here's exactly what you'll see on the ballot:

Proposal 18-3: A proposal to authorize automatic and Election Day voter registration, no-reason absentee voting, and straight ticket voting; and add current legal requirements for military and overseas voting and post-election audits to the Michigan Constitution.

This proposed constitutional amendment would allow a United States citizen who is qualified to vote in
Michigan to:

• Become automatically registered to vote when applying for, updating or renewing a driver’s
license or state-issued personal identification card, unless the person declines.
• Simultaneously register to vote with proof of residency and obtain a ballot during the 2-week
period prior to an election, up to and including Election Day.
• Obtain an absent voter ballot without providing a reason.
• Cast a straight-ticket vote for all candidates of a particular political party when voting in a
partisan general election.

Should this proposal be adopted?


In the News: Make Voting More Accessible (Promote the Vote)

Guide to the 2018 Michigan ballot proposalsBridge Magazine, Sept. 12, 2018

These are the ballot proposals Michiganders will vote on this NovemberMichigan Radio, Sept. 11, 2018

Voting rights proposal certified for Michigan's November ballotDetroit News, Sept. 6, 2018

Major changes to Michigan's voting process headed to November ballotMichigan Radio, Sept. 6, 2018

Promote the Vote has enough signatures to make ballot, SOS determinesMLive, Aug. 31, 2018

Promote the Vote sues to make Michigan ballotDetroit News, Aug. 29, 2018

Group submits signatures for ballot measure to expand voting in MichiganDetroit Free Press, July 9, 2018





Ann Arbor

A) Designate the Library Lot as an Urban Park
B) Change the Process for Filling a Vacancy on City Council
C) Renew a Tax for City Parks & Rec

Washtenaw County

Renew a Tax for County Parks & Rec


1) Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol
2) Create an Independent Redistricting Commission
3) Make Voting More Accessible

What if I don't live in Ann Arbor?

We don't have the resources (yet!) to offer a comprehensive guide to all candidates and ballot proposals in the county. If you'd like to support the expansion of our work, click here to donate to The CivCity Initiative, which operates We're a 501(c)(3) organization and your contributions are tax deductible!