McGuire laments high court ruling against redistricting-reform ballot item
The Illinois Supreme Court’s decision earlier this year to keep a referendum on redistricting reform off the November ballot is just another example of how nothing in the state will change until voters elect new leaders, Brandi McGuire, Republican candidate for the District 72 state House seat, told Rock Island Today.
“The status quo remains cemented against the will of the voters,” McGuire said.
McGuire said four Illinois Supreme Court judges — all members of the Democratic Party — overruled the will of more than 500,000 people from all political backgrounds who supported a ballot referendum establishing a non-partisan, independent commission to oversee redistricting.
“Once again, the hopes of voters were ignored and denied,” McGuire said.
In a 4-3 decision, the court blocked the measure from appearing on the fall ballot, agreeing with a Cook County judge’s ruling that the Independent Map Amendment was unconstitutional. The proposal sought to establish an 11-member board, including representatives of the four legislative leaders, whose job would be to redraw the map of the state’s 118 House and 59 Senate seats after the federal census every 10 years. It would require seven votes to approve a new map, with support from two members of each political party and three independents.
Currently, the legislature plays the biggest role in redrawing district lines, though the governor has a chance to veto any plan. If legislators can’t agree on a map, an eight-member panel made up equally of Republicans and Democrats takes over the task. A random ninth member is selected at random to break a tie, if necessary.
“I support a non-partisan, independent commission that would redraw district boundaries in an open and transparent manner,” McGuire said. “The district in which I am running for office ... has been drawn and redrawn to specifically cut out Republican and Independent voters over the past 50 years.”
She said that has led to more uncontested races for candidates of both major political parties.
“The current district zig-zags across cities like a thief in the night," McGuire said. "This district was created so the politicians could pick the voters, not the voters making their own choice,” McGuire said.
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