Illinois State Democrats released drafts of proposed Illinois General Assembly maps last night. State Republicans are crying foul in the process due to a lack of transparency and having a lack of say in the matter.
87th District Republican Representative Tim Butler, who is the ranking State Republican on the House Redistricting Committee, said in a release statement last night that the late-night map drop was an effort by State Democrats to mislead voters and create unfair elections in the map: “After so many promises made by Democrats to have an open and transparent process involving the public. We continue our call upon Governor Pritzker to live up to his pledge to the people of Illinois and veto a map that was drawn by politicians like what we see here today.”
95th District Republican Representative Avery Bourne says state Democrats simply won’t listen to a bi-partisan effort on the re-map process: “The Democrats did not listen to the dozens of advocacy groups who have demanded transparency, accurate data, and an open process that takes politicians out of the map making. This should not be a partisan process. We have long advocated for an independent commission, but the Democrats have turned their back on that idea.”
The redistricting maps for the state’s 118 House and 59 Senate seats were allegedly drawn with population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Republicans have criticized the ACS data for accuracy, and the drafts of the maps for their lack of detail. Critics have said that the state should wait for more accurate U.S. Census data coming in mid-August, rather than Democrats aiming for a May 31st vote, prior to adjournment. The state is up against a June 30th deadline the Illinois Constitution requires for lawmakers to pass new maps. If they miss that deadline, the task goes to an independent commission with an equal number of Democrats and Republicans that is appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court. Democrats haven’t yet released proposed new maps for U.S. House districts or Illinois Supreme Court districts.
2nd District Democrat State Senator Omar Aquino disagrees with Republicans saying the maps are a better representation of the state’s population: “Redistricting is about making sure all voices are heard, and that’s exactly what this map accomplishes. This is a fair map that reflects the great diversity of our state and ensures every person receives equal representation in the General Assembly.”
Next week, there will be four hearings on the proposed map:
- Tuesday, May 25 at 4:00 PM – Joint House and Senate Hearing
- Tuesday, May 25 at 6:00 PM – House Hearing
- Wednesday, May 26 at 4:00 PM – Joint House and Senate Hearing
- Wednesday, May 26 at 6:00 PM – Senate Hearing
These will be hybrid hearings with the opportunity for in-person and virtual testimony. Details can be found online at www.ilga.gov. The Illinois House map can be viewed here. The Illinois Senate map can be viewed here.