With the U.S. Census and redrawing of Illinois’ Congressional and General Assembly maps fast approaching, State Sen. Jil Tracy (R-Quincy) is leading the effort to include a fair maps amendment on the ballot for the upcoming election—an initiative to grant control of the redistricting process to a nonpartisan, independent committee to draw the districts, rather than entrenched politicians.
Tracy joined her fellow members of the Senate Republican Caucus in a press conference at the Capitol on Feb. 6 to voice her support for fair, nonpartisan and transparent redistricting process in Illinois.
“Presently, voters have no say in the redistricting process, which decides the legislative maps and elections for an entire decade,” said Tracy. “Time is truly of the essence to get a fair maps amendment on the ballot before the remapping in 2020. Members from both sides of the aisle have come together in support of an amendment to place the power of redistricting in the hands of the voter and improve the democratic process in Illinois.”
Every 10 years, following the decennial U.S. Census, Illinois’ Congressional and General Assembly maps are redrawn. Illinois currently has a winner-take-all system for the redistricting process, where the politicians who are in control right now have the power to draw the maps for the next 10 years. This gives them the ability to shift district lines to create an advantage for the members of their party, which is often referred to as “gerrymandering.” This system is what creates strangely-shaped districts and uncompetitive elections.
To remove the politics from Illinois’ redistricting process, Tracy has sponsored bipartisan legislation, Senate Joint Resolution-Constitutional Amendment 4 (SJR-CA 4), to give voters the opportunity to amend the Constitution to create a new, non-partisan system for drawing maps. It would establish an independent redistricting commission, increase transparency in the process and provide for public hearings to allow Illinois residents to weigh in.
Tracy urges constituents to sign her petition to demand a fair maps amendment on the ballot this year. Click here to sign the petition.