CHICAGO, Feb. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With 11 weeks remaining in the petition drive for redistricting reform, the Independent Maps coalition has exceeded the 507,500 petition signatures collected in the 2014 effort and is on target to reach the new coalition's goal of 600,000 signatures.
"Support for the Independent Map Amendment has been phenomenal," said Dennis FitzSimons, Chair of Independent Maps. "We've collected 510,000 signatures so far and will turn in many more signatures than the previous campaign, which fell short of the number needed to qualify for the ballot. We're confident our petition signatures – well in excess of the required 290,216 signatures – will withstand challenges by opponents of reform."
"We've come a long way since our petitions first hit the streets nine months ago, and we have more work ahead of us," said Dave Mellet, Campaign Manager of Independent Maps. "We are 85 percent of the way to our goal of 600,000 signatures, and hitting that number will require the continued commitment of current volunteers and adding new volunteers to the effort.
"Anyone can volunteer," Mellet continued. "Just go to our website (MapAmendment.org), read the easy instructions, print the petition and start asking registered Illinois voters to sign the petition."
In addition to circulating petitions, supporters are encouraged to sign up for e-mail alerts at MapAmendment.org; follow the campaign on Twitter (@MapAmendment) and like the campaign on Facebook (facebook.com/MapAmendment). Contributions to help fund the campaign also can be made through the website.
"After two recent high profile speeches by President Obama that included a call for congressional redistricting reform, interest in the Independent Map Amendment has spiked," FitzSimons said. "Both in his State of the Union Address and again in a speech to the Illinois General Assembly, President Obama explained that partisan redistricting results in elections where politicians pick their voters instead of voters selecting their representatives in government."
The text and video of President Obama's remarks about redistricting are available at MapAmendment.org.
Independent Maps also recently released a video featuring President Obama and Republican Ronald Reagan and both of them calling for an end to the partisan practice of mapmaking. View the video on our website or on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRVI2ZkXynI).
SOURCE Independent Maps