Illinoisans Denied Opportunity to Vote on Fair Maps

Supporters of independent redistricting (fair maps) in the State of Illinois have once again been denied an opportunity to vote on whether or not the map-making process for Illinois should be removed from the hands of politicians. The deadline for putting such a measure on the November 6 ballot was Sunday, May 6.

Article XIV of the Illinois Constitution requires a minimum six-month window between when a constitutional amendment ballot referendum is approved by three-fifths of both chambers of the General Assembly and the next General Election. Consequently, there will be no “Fair Maps” referendum on the November 6 ballot this year.

State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock), who co-sponsored two pieces of fair maps legislation this year, said the lack of legislative action signals “business as usual” in Springfield. “The controlling party in Springfield has no interest in instituting a fair and transparent process for the drawing of legislative districts,” said Reick. “It is just one more example of politics trumping good policy in our state. There is overwhelming bipartisan support for fair maps, yet those in charge of bringing a fair maps initiative to the floor of the House and Senate for a vote chose to ignore the public’s support. Instead, Democrat leaders from both chambers decided it was more important to keep control of that process for their own political gain.”

Reick is a Chief Co-Sponsor of HJRCA 46, which would provide for the creation of an independent legislative redistricting commission that would lead a detailed review process of maps submitted by any Illinoisan who would wish to suggest a map. The commission, appointed equally by the four legislative leaders from the Republican and Democratic caucuses, would provide the public with necessary data and tools with which to create map proposals, and a multi-faceted scoring rubric would be used to rank all submissions with higher scores generated by maps that keep municipalities and counties together and which are compact in nature.

He is also a co-sponsor of HR 995, which expresses support for independent redistricting reform and advocates for a non-partisan map-making process for the upcoming redistricting cycle. Both proposals would have applied to redistricting beginning in 2021 for the elections to be held in 2022.

Reick posted an online petition for those who oppose gerrymandered legislative maps and support a fair maps process, and encourages all Illinoisans who support fair maps to sign it.