Republicans and Democrats apparently agree. The way Illinois draws legislative district maps needs to change. But there’s disagreement on how and when to get it done. After every 10-year Census, the majority political party – Democrats for decades in Illinois – redraws the state’s legislative maps. Critics say that lets politicians pick their voters instead of voters picking their politicians. Even former President Barack Obama supports redistricting reform. A citizen-led effort to change the process failed to get in front of voters last year after an attorney with ties to the state’s leading Democrats, including Speaker Michael Madigan, successfully blocked the initiative just before a ballot-printing deadline.
However, just last month, some statehouse Democrats unveiled their “Comeback Agenda” that mentioned redistricting reform.
Gov. Bruce Rauner said, other “Comeback Agenda” items aside, the willingness to address the map-making process is a positive sign.
“Wouldn’t it be wonderful for the state of Illinois to get partisanship out of our district drawing?” Rauner said. “What a major step forward for restoring democracy, so I would love to get that done and see if we can do it on a bipartisan basis.”