Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Future of Redistricting Reform in Illinois

by David Hiller, President and CEO

As you may have heard, the Yes! For Independent Maps initiative will not be moving forward for the November 4 ballot. This is very disappointing to the thousands of citizens across the political spectrum in Illinois who were united in supporting redistricting reform. 

These citizens recognized the need to take the district maps out of the hands of the political insiders, and turn the job over to an independent commission.

The importance of this reform is demonstrated by the aggressive attacks on it made by the political forces entrenched by the current system. If citizens win, they lose.

Another lesson is that Illinois is ready for reform. Hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans supported the reform effort, and polls indicated overwhelming voter support had the initiative been allowed on the ballot. The grounds Judge Mary Mikva cited in her legal decision for keeping the initiative off the ballot are technical, but give hope that a revised proposal could pass constitutional muster.

There is ample time to make redistricting reform a reality well before the next census in 2020. We should continue to build on the momentum of this year’s campaign, and ensure that this gets done in the next election cycle.

Meanwhile, stay engaged:
  • Register and vote in the upcoming November elections
  • Stay tuned in on the progress of reform efforts at the Change Illinois website
  • Follow these efforts with the McCormick Foundation on Facebook and Twitter

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