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Judge dismisses challenge to 180-day limit on ballot drives

A Michigan judge has dismissed a challenge to restrictions on how long ballot drive organizers have to collect voter signatures.

The Committee to Ban Fracking wants to use more than 200,000 already-gathered signatures to help qualify for the 2018 statewide ballot.

It sued to challenge the constitutionality of Michigan's 180-day time period for signature collecting.

Court of Claims Judge Stephen Borrello rejected the suit Monday, calling it "hypothetical."

He says the anti-fracking group had no standing and its request for an injunction isn't ripe because organizers haven't submitted their petition yet.

Initiative groups need nearly 253,000 valid signatures to put legislation before lawmakers and ultimately the public.

Organizers of a 2016 marijuana legalization drive also have challenged the 180-day limit.

Their suit is pending in the Court of Claims.

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