Republicans Attempt to Take Back Democrat Foothold With a Strange Weapon: Independent Redistricting

State Republicans in Illinois are working to wrench the power of redistricting away from the Democrat dominated state legislature and place it in the hands of an independent redistricting committee which would enjoy equal representation of all parties. Illinois Republican Senator Dave Syverson is spearheading the initiative through Senate bill 1325  “the People’s Independent Maps Act”.  For Syverson it’s about working to restore public trust in the electoral system.

Sen. Syverson posted via Facebook,

“Under Illinois’ current system, politicians have the power to draw the district maps for the next ten years, manipulating the system to silence voters and keep majority-party politicians in power.
This proposal is our way of seeking to restore public trust in the system by putting an end to the absurd practice of politicians picking their voters.”
The act would create a commission of 16 members appointed not by the legislature but by the State Supreme Court to draft plans for legislative, representative and congressional districts in Illinois. However, the legislation is limited and would only apply to the redistricting cycle of 2021. Sen. Syverson issued a press release stating ““We have a real opportunity to move this state away from the corruption and mismanagement that has led to our broken redistricting system,”
The bill adds the requirements that it accurately reflect the demographic breakdown of the state by gender, race, ethnicity and that it be evenly split by both parties and independents. State employees, current legislators and lobbyists are forbidden from serving on the body and the commission would be required to hold at least 10 public hearings  beefore adotping a plan and a further four more once a plan has been made.
 “Now is the time to put pen to paper and give the power back to Illinois voters.”

Gov. Pritzker Has Said He Would Support an Independent Redistricting Committee

According to the Illiniois GOP website, even infamous Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker has replied to questioning on redistricting that he would veto any attempt by legislators to pass a new redistricting map and would urge the GOP and Democrats to work together to create an Independent commission. This could force the hand of the Democratic majority in the Cook County ruled state.
He responded“Yes, I will pledge to veto. We should amend the constitution to create an independent commission to draw legislative maps, but in the meantime, I would urge Democrats and Republicans to agree to an independent commission to handle creating a new legislative map.”
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