The chairman of the Illinois State Board of Elections says the group pushing for a non-political drawing of legislative boundaries will not be able to produce enough signatures in time to get their constitutional amendment on the November ballot. Yes for Independent Maps is trying to validate enough signatures out of an initial sampling to keep its ballot initiative alive.
Their proposal would create and independent, mostly non-political commission to draw boundaries for state legislative districts every 10 years. However, the group has had trouble proving it has the 298,000 valid signatures needed to be placed on the ballot.
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Elections Board Chairman Jesse Smart says nearly 32,000 of the signatures are from people who signed more than once and others that don't make the cut. “A lot of them you can’t even read at all,” Smart says. “A lot of them are not from Illinois. There’s just many, many sloppy (entries) which I’m sorry for.”
Smart says the reason there were such wide discrepancies in the number of ballots that examiners were allowing is geography. Smart says the signatures collected in Central Illinois were largely collected properly and deliberately, those in the Chicago area, done by hired circulators in some cases, were not.
Smart says 11,918 people signed the petitions more than once; 90 people signed at least 10 times, one name appears 35 times.
The group was given time to show it has enough valid signatures. Smart says he doesn't think they will be able to. Smart says the board’s motives to halt the group’s initiative are not political. He says he signed the petition himself.