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Judge halts ballot proposal to incorporate Groesbeck neighborhood into Lansing

Ingham County Courthouse
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An Ingham County Circuit Court judge has blocked a ballot proposal asking voters to approve the annexation of a portion of Lansing Township into the city of Lansing.

A judge has blocked a ballot proposal that, if approved by voters, would turn a part of Lansing Township over to the city of Lansing.

Last month, the Lansing City Council voted to include a proposal on the November ballot to annex the Groesbeck neighborhood.

But Lansing Township officials opposed the measure and filed a lawsuit to prevent it from moving forward.

Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Clinton Canady III sided with the township Tuesday and temporarily halted the proposal from being included on the ballot, according to the court's online records. A copy of the judge's order has not yet been made available to the public.

In response to the judge decision, the City of Lansing filed a motion with the Michigan Court of Appeals to strike down the court’s injunction. In a statement, City of Lansing spokesperson Scott Bean said the city acted within a section of the law known as the Charter Township Act to place the question on the ballot.

"We asked for immediate consideration and a reversal of the Judge’s decision," Bean said in the statement. "The City is hopeful that the Court of Appeals will decide in our favor swiftly and allow those township residents to vote.”

Online court records show Canady initially set a hearing date for the case for Sept. 21; but Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum says that date didn't give her enough time to print the ballots.

"Thankfully, he amended that hearing date to September 12," she said. “Otherwise, we're going to really run into difficulties getting our printer to be able to even print the ballots quick enough."

If the decision to keep the proposal off the ballot is upheld, a new petition would need to be filed for the next election cycle.

As WKAR's Bilingual Latinx Stories Reporter, Michelle reports in both English and Spanish on stories affecting Michigan's Latinx community.
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