State Representative Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville) is championing legislation this year that seeks to end the gerrymandering of political maps once and for all.
Wehrli, a Chief Co-Sponsor of HJRCA10, said adoption of the measure would end decades of political influence over how legislative district boundaries are determined. “Today’s partisan map-drawing process allows the majority party in Springfield to draw legislative districts that protect their members so their seats can be retained,” said Wehrli. “This stifles democracy, because lawmakers are essentially choosing their voters rather than allowing voters to choose their representatives. Regardless of the party in control, gerrymandered maps undermine our representative form of government.”
HJRCA10 is modeled after prior Independent Map citizen initiatives. The measure would amend the Legislature Article of the Illinois Constitution and remove the mapping process from the hands of politicians. The Amendment would establish an independent, non-partisan commission to draw fair maps for legislators after each 10-year Census. The Commission would be comprised of 11 randomly selected members and would hold public hearings throughout the state before and after releasing a proposed district boundary plan.
“Previous attempts to put fair maps in place for Illinois have been thwarted by lawyers for Mike Madigan,” Wehrli said. “Our new Governor, J.B. Pritzker, promised to veto any partisan map that lands on his desk and I intend to hold him accountable to that pledge. I’m hoping members from his party will join the 44 Republicans already on this bill so we can end gerrymandering for good.”
If successful, the provisions of HJRCA10 would take effect beginning with the redistricting in 2021 following the 2020 U.S. Census. Candidates running for election in 2022 would be subject to the new fair map. HJRCA10 requires 71 votes to pass in the House.