Groups who want to change how Illinois’ legislative districts are redrawn are beginning a new petition drive to amend the state’s constitution. Redistricting reform failed to make it on the ballot in 2014. Dennis FitzSimons, chairman of Independent Maps, says this time around they’re getting an earlier start so the proposal has a better chance of clearing any hurdles before the 2016 ballot is finalized.
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“Being able to have volunteers and a paid signature operation out there in the warm weather months will give us a big head start,” FitzSimons. “We’re getting an earlier start to fundraising also.”
The biggest change to the proposed amendment is removing the requirement that members of the new redistricting commission not run for public office for ten years. FitzSimons says the switch should help the amendment survive the expected court challenges.
The group will have to collect at least 290,216 valid signatures from registered voters to put the redistricting amendment on the ballot. Patrick Brady, executive director of Independent Maps, says they’ll aim to submit more than 600,000.