It’s now up to the Illinois State Board of Elections to process hundreds of thousands of signatures for a ballot initiative to take politics out of the state’s legislative map-making process.

The 50-foot long filing cabinet containing the petitions was wheeled off a semitrailer Friday.

Illinois State Board of Elections Executive Director Steve Sandvoss said it’s an impressive undertaking. Over the next two weeks, elections board staff will count and scan the 65,000 pages and perform a random verification of signatures.

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A spokesman for the Independent Map Amendment group said the organization has been collecting signatures for a full year. Sandvoss said voters who signed and then moved shouldn’t worry.

“Any person who signed the petition that may have changed their voter registration address during that two-year window, the computer would show which was their previous address and which is the current address so we can indeed verify if it was within that window when they signed,” Sandvoss said.

Truck driver Craig Held said his company also transported similar pages of signatures two years ago. Held said the 50-foot long filing cabinet containing the petitions weighed more than 1,500 pounds. As for the amendment, Held said he likes it.

“I’m all for it. I actually signed a petition, so my name is in there somewhere,” he said.

Held’s signature is one of around 570,000 signatures the Independent Map group turned in Friday.

The Independent Map Amendment spokesman said the group is confident the ballot initiative will survive a court challenge, something members expect in the near future.


(Copyright WBGZ /