Rethinking redistricting in the state

Oct 17, 2013

Credit Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

  Yes! for Independent Maps is aiming to get a constitutional amendment question on the November 2014 ballot. The effort needs 300,000 registered voters signatures by May 4, 2014 get the question on the gubernatorial ballot. 

The goal is to make Illinois legislative district boundaries less politically driven and more compact and contiguous. Michael Kolenc is the executive director of the YES! for Independent Maps. He says the proposal has a 2020 implementation date with the first new state maps in-place a year later. 

Kolenc says it’s a task to get that many signatures in 199 days, but it’s worth it. “This is about the long term stability and the movement of issues in Springfield and the freeing of that up.”

It’s, “really to create accountable districts that don’t look like squirrels on roller skates wearing top hats ...where you look at the maps and you know something is wrong. You know they drew someone’s grandmother into a district or split-up communities of interest. All these things are in our amendment,” according to Kolenc.

The amendment proposes identifiying a non-partisan panel of three who would oversee the process of selecting the remap commission. Each of the top four legislative leaders would also contribute to the commission selection process equally.

It’s a platform of the League of Women Voters of the Greater Peoria Area. The League will have petitions available Saturday, October 19, 2013 from 10:00a.m. to 4:00p.m. at the Lakeview Branch Library in Peoria. 

To learn more about the initiative: