The people of Illinois want fair legislative maps. They want maps that are drawn by an independent body working on behalf of voters, not by politicians looking after themselves. They want maps that promote competitive elections instead of protecting incumbents. They’ve said so, over and over again, in polls going back decades. They’ve collected hundreds of thousands of signatures — three times — and raised millions of dollars, trying to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot. State lawmakers know this. That’s why they always tell us they want fair maps too. It’s why there are always several fair map proposals on file in Springfield, with many sponsors eager to point to their names at election time. Guess what? It’s election time. But this year is different. This year, voters want lawmakers to put up or shut up.
In the past, citizens have done the heavy lifting to try to get redistricting reforms on the ballot. Lawmakers just nodded approvingly, then stood silently while House Speaker Mike Madigan’s lawyer talked the courts into killing those measures.
But as we’ve pointed out many times, lawmakers can put an amendment on the ballot themselves. It’s a lot easier, in fact. There are no petitions to circulate, fewer constitutional hurdles to clear, fewer legal ambiguities to exploit. So after going 0-for-3 the hard way, voters turned expectantly to their elected representatives: Put it on the ballot. Let us vote.
Full Article: Everybody wants fair maps. Right? – Chicago Tribune.