Redo! Redistricting: Will The Third Time Be The Effort’s Charm?
Even as Gov. Bruce Rauner pushes for legislators to authorize a new way of drawing the state’s political map, a citizen-driven initiative is underway.
As part of the bargain Rauner is trying to make with Democrats, he wants the legislature to agree to give up control for drawing district boundaries.
Cindi Canary isn’t waiting around.
“I don’t think that there is any chance that this will go through the legislature," she said. “Our effort was established independently, before he jumped into this. And our thinking is that it has to be bipartisan, citizen’s effort to actually get this on the ballot and get people to vote on it.”
Canary recently took over as head of the Independent Map Amendment coalition – a privately-funded effort to take map-drawing out of politicians’ hands, and give control to a commission.
Signature collection is underway. If some 290 thousand people sign a petition, the question of whether Illinois should redo redistricting could go before voters next year.
A similar effort was knocked off the ballot last year.
The last time this was attempted, a judge said the proposal was unconstitutional. Canary says the question has been re-written to address those concerns.
“We’ve been working with legal experts this time, and studying that ruling very closely, as well as some of the things that the Illinois Supreme Court has done over the years, and have really just tightened this initiative up, and are very confident that it will be a very, very strong case when it, probably inevitably, is brought to the court," she said.
Canary says her organization is aiming to collect a half million signatures; not having enough was another problem that kept the map from getting on the ballot in the 2014 statewide election.