CHICAGO, Aug. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Dennis FitzSimons, Chair of Independent Maps, on Thursday issued the following statement in response to the Illinois Supreme Court's 4 to 3 decision disqualifying the redistricting reform amendment from the ballot:
The Illinois Supreme Court's ruling is extremely disappointing to all of us – to our bi-partisan coalition, to the more than 563,000 Illinois voters who signed petitions to put this important amendment on the ballot and to the many, many more Illinoisans eager for an opportunity to make the Illinois General Assembly more responsive to all of Illinois.
The Supreme Court rules give us the opportunity to seek rehearing and our legal team is weighing that option.
Delegates to the 1969-70 Constitutional Convention created a redistricting process they believed would encourage bipartisan mapmaking. It hasn't worked. The result has been partisan maps, fewer competitive elections and voter dissatisfaction.
Mapmaking by legislators – the very people whose reelections depend on partisan maps – has led to a decline in competitive elections and voter dissatisfaction. The only way to end partisan mapmaking is to turn the duty over to an impartial commission as has been done in California and Arizona. Unfortunately, the only way to make that change in Illinois is by a constitutional amendment brought to the ballot by citizens.
It's very clear the drafters of the 1970 Illinois Constitution understood that dynamic, and that's why they gave voters the power to propose amendments to change the legislative article and specifically the provisions relating to redistricting.
Drafters of the Illinois Constitution would not recognize the interpretation made by the Supreme Court majority. According to the majority, voters cannot propose sensible changes to the legislative article that would make a meaningful difference in the way legislative district boundaries are drawn.
In short, the system is broken, and the way this Court interprets the Constitution seems likely to prevent its repair.
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Paid for by Support Independent Maps. A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is (or will be) available on the Board's official website (http://www.elections.il.gov) or for purchase from the Illinois State Board of Elections, Springfield, Illinois.
SOURCE Independent Maps