IL redistricting effort submits petition to get on Nov. ballot

May 1, 2014

An Independent Maps semi drops off a 27 foot long document of 533,264 signatures to Illinois elections authority.
Credit Amanda Vinicky / Illinois Public Radio
Even as a redistricting campaign celebrates submitting its petition to get on the November ballot, the effort is already under legal attack. 

It's taken months, and a lot of money, for the "Yes! For Independent Maps" coalition to get to this point. They've collected roughly 500,000 signatures, so voters can decide whether to end the practice of letting lawmakers draw their own district boundaries.

The proposed constitutional amendment would put that mapmaking in the hands of an independent commission, whose members would be barred from running for office as long as the map is in place. Paula Lawson, with the League of Women Voters, says that's more transparent.

"Unlike the current system the independent redistricting amendment is not an incumbent protection plan."

Lawson and other coalition members cheered, as state authorities stamped the 27-foot-long document, making its submission official.

Even though the petition is said to contain nearly double the number of signatures required by law, it could still get dumped. It, as well as another citizen proposition seeking legislative term limits, faces a court challenge.

The director of the redistricting plan says the lawsuit is a "slap in the face" to all of the voters who gave their signatures to get it on the ballot.