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Independent Maps Group Granted More Time To Fight Signature Challenge

A struggling effort to change how Illinois draws its legislative districts will live another day.  Election authorities today voted to give it some extra time to prove it deserves to make it on the November ballot.

Supporters of “Yes For Independent Maps” were joyous last month when a semi-truck pulled into the state board of elections' parking lot in Springfield. A campaign to overhaul the state's redistricting process was dropping off a 27-foot-long document, filled with a half million signatures.

But elections officials say after reviewing a sampling of them, not enough of the signatures are valid. The latest action means the so-called "fair map" group will get more time to try to prove them wrong.

The group's waiting to get back information from local clerks on whether the petition names are eligible to vote as required by law. The redistricting campaign's director, Michael Kolenc, says he's still confident.

"We worked over the last eight months, in a very methodic way, to collect good signatures. And we know that when we took our semi-truck down to Springfield that we had enough good signatures in that truck."

The redistricting effort, and another one -- which officials found DID have the requisite number of voter signatures -- could still be doomed.  They're both facing court challenges, seeking to knock them off the ballot. 

Oral arguments on the proposals' constitutionality are scheduled to be heard Wednesday in Chicago.  The second ballot initiative would limit legislators’ terms.

Amanda Vinicky moved to Chicago Tonight on WTTW-TV PBS in 2017.
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