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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Group Trying Again To Reform Illinois Redistricting


A group pushing for redistricting reform in the state of Illinois is trying for a second time to get an initiative on the ballot. 

Brian Moline talked with Cindi Canary, the Executive Director of Independent Maps.

In Illinois, redistricting is currently done by the state legislature, with the governor having the opportunity to veto. 

Canary said that when one party is in power, the process becomes overly partisan.

"Their primary goal in drawing this map is to protect incumbents and to protect partisan advantage," she said.

Canary said that although a judge threw out the initiative that would have appeared on the November 2014 ballot, the decision gave the group valuable feedback.

"The judge who struck that wrote a very lengthy decision and talked about the fact that redistricting was fair game for the ballot under our constitution," she said, "but that the initiative had to be crafted more narrowly."

Canary said criticism that the ballot initiative could disenfranchise minority voters is incorrect.

"I would actually say the opposite is true," she said.  "This initiative puts forward first and foremost compliance with the Federal Voting Rights Act.  It would actually embed that in the Illinois constitution."

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