The Illinois State Board of Elections approved the Independent Map Coalition’s petition signatures, but the measure now moves to the courts due to a lawsuit filed by a longtime attorney to Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.
The election board found nearly three-quarters of the more than 560,000 signatures collected over the past year to be valid. That was more than the minimum 290,000 signatures required to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot to take politics out of Illinois’ legislative map-making process.
But the lawsuit filed alleges the initiative is unconstitutional.
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A similar group failed to overcome the petition hurdle in 2014. Coalition spokesman Jim Bray said the group learned lessons from the past attempt.
“We used the court decision from two years ago as guidance of what would be allowed and not allowed,” Bray said. “They’ve scheduled dates for briefing papers to be filed and they’re looking at oral arguments to be heard June 30 in Chicago.”
Bray said the latest petition hurdle cost the group an estimated $3 million.
“It is an expensive undertaking to run a statewide campaign to collect that many petition signatures,” Bray said.
The deadline to get the amendment on the ballot is late August.
Bray said the amendment is important because voters should have an independent, open political map-making process rather than politicians picking their districts.