April 27, 2020 – Illinois legislators and ethical government activists from communities across Illinois continue their outreach and support for Fair Maps and an improved redistricting process as the May 3rd deadline approaches. After May 3rd, the process becomes very uncertain, and urgent legislative action will be required to prevent another decade of partisan gerrymandered maps.
While many might have assumed Democrats will retain their partisan control of the map making process, that is no longer a safe assumption. Due to potential delays in the Census due to COVID-19, there is a 50 percent chance that Republicans actually will be in charge. “It could all come down to which name is drawn out of a hat,” says Ryan Tolley, policy director for CHANGE Illinois, the non-partisan coalition supporting the Fair Maps Amendment. “Lawmakers are running out of time to take action. Our democracy deserves a vote on a more equitable map process, and if one cannot safely be held before the May 3rd deadline, then legislators must commit to meaningful reforms in the coming months.”
There has been strong bipartisan support for the Fair Maps Amendment, which was introduced in the General Assembly on Feb. 13. The amendment is supported by 34 diverse organizations representing communities of color, businesses, farmers, senior citizens and more from across the state. A February poll commissioned by CHANGE Illinois showed 75 percent of the state’s voters support the creation of an independent commission to draw political maps.
Even during this pandemic, the supporters of this amendment are still committed to increasing election fairness. “This public health crisis underscores how important it is to elect leaders who are accountable to the people they serve,” said state Rep. Terra Costa Howard (D-Glen Ellyn), who is the Amendment’s chief sponsor in the House. “Now more than ever, we need to ensure that our districts are drawn fairly so that all constituents’ voices are heard.”
“Illinoisans deserve better than a repeat of the same political map making process that determined voters’ representation for decades, rather than allowing voters to choose their elected officials,” said state Rep. Ryan Spain of Peoria, the Republican chief co-sponsor of the Fair Maps Amendment. “We’re going to continue fighting for these reforms.”
For more information, please contact:
Madeleine Doubek- (904) 404-2179 | MDoubek@changeil.org
Ryan Tolley – (904) 404-2176 | RTolley@changeil.org