Fair Map” Redistricting Proposal Struggles for Signatures
The group working to change the way districts are drawn in Illinois needs more than 280,000 signatures to get the proposal on the November ballot. But with the deadline looming, the group may come up short, raising the likelihood that Illinois' system of drawing legislative boundaries -- which often comes to down to pulling a name from a hat to determine which party has a political advantage -- could remain unchanged.
The League of Women Voters has been leading the effort circulating petitions since December. The league's director, Jan Czarnik, says so far the group's gathered around 120,000 signatures. That's less than half of what's needed. Czarnik says petitions are still being circulated. She says getting people to sign on is not the issue.
"It's two weeks before we have to file and if we do fall short, it's only because we haven't had enough people circulating petitions in such a short period of time," Czarnik said.
Petition signatures have to be in to the Secretary of State by May 3. The plan would create an independent commission to do redistricting.
Republican lawmakers tried to get the plan through the legislature which would avoid the need for getting signatures, but Democrats blocked it. Senate Democrats passed a competing plan and sent it to the House. But Republican support will be needed to pass it there, and House GOP Leader Tom Cross says that won't happen.