Brown County, Hardin County, and a northeast portion of Madison County will be voting this November on a non-binding referendum to split the state in two.
According to the website Red State Secession, if the majority of voters in these counties vote for the split they will join 24 other counties in southern and central Illinois that have voted in favor of this idea within the last 5 years.
The referendum asks voters “Shall the board of your county correspond with the boards of the other counties of Illinois outside of Cook County about the possibility of separating from Cook County to form a new state, and to seek admission to the Union as such, subject to the approval of the people?”
State Representatives C.D. Davidsmeyer and Brad Halbrook introduced legislation regarding the split into two states and were granted a hearing in 2019, but the bill failed to clear committee hearings.
State legislators in Kentucky and Missouri have expressed interest to the organizers of the secession about acquiring downstate Illinois by moving a state border, but have not taken action.
According to the U.S. Constitution, forming a new state from a portion of a current state requires endorsement from Congress and the current state’s legislature.