To combat the bureaucratic and politically-driven redistricting process in Illinois, State Sen. John F. Curran (R-Downers Grove) has joined his colleagues from both sides of the aisle in advocating for a fair maps amendment to be added to the ballot for the next statewide election.
In a press conference at the Capitol on Feb. 6, Curran reinforced his support for the initiative to shift the control of redistricting from politicians to the voters.
“For too long, the voices and interests of voters have been ignored by political leaders in the redistricting process—it’s time to change that,” said Curran. “By advancing redistricting reform and including a fair maps amendment on the ballot, we’re putting the power to affect change in the hands of the voters where it belongs.”
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.
“This amendment has overwhelming support from both sides of the aisle and is a true product of collaboration and bipartisanship at the Capitol,” said Curran. “It’s time the politicians wielding the power over redistricting hear what the caucuses and the voters have to say.”
Curran is one of 30 Senate Republican and Democratic cosponsors supporting Senate Joint Resolution-Constitutional Amendment 4 (SJR-CA 4) to give voters the opportunity to amend the Constitution to create a new, nonpartisan 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.
With the next U.S. Census and remapping fast approaching, Curran encourages his constituents to sign a petition to demand a fair maps amendment on the ballot this year. Click here to sign the petition.