The Illinois Senate and House Redistricting committees began this week to hold the first of many hearings as the once-a-decade remap process gets underway.
Every 10 years, following the decennial U.S. census, lawmakers are required to update legislative and congressional districts to match changes and shifts in population. Historically, Illinois has a notorious reputation for partisan, “gerrymandered” district maps. The existing process is a winner-take-all system where the party in power has the ability to draw maps that favor their candidates. This often leads to legislative districts that so strongly favor one party that sitting lawmakers repeatedly run for reelection unopposed. In 2020, 62 out of 138 legislative races on the ballot were uncontested.
The Senate Republican Caucus has repeatedly called for reforms to the redistricting system, and for the creation of an independent, nonpartisan map-making committee. Leaders across the country agree, from former Presidents Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama, that gerrymandering is bad for democracy.
You can add your voice to the call by signing Senator Syverson’s petition here.