Reform, reform, reform – that’s what Southern Illinois voters say they support in a new poll. According to the poll released by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University, voters are solidly in favor of term limits, open primaries, and changing the redistricting process. “I think that’s indicative of a certain cynicism and distrust directed toward government,” said John Jackson, co-director of the poll. “I think that’s why term limits is so popular. People see that as an easy way out.”
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Of the 403 registered voters surveyed, 75 percent favored limiting state representatives to five terms, and state senators to three terms. There was even greater support for limiting terms for those who hold leadership positions in the General Assembly, with 83 percent in favor. For redistricting, only 16 percent favored keeping the current process in place. There was also support for changing to a completely open primary where the voter does not have to declare which party’s ballot they requested (75 percent in favor), and limiting how the amount of campaign funds legislative leaders can transfer to members (59 percent in favor).
The survey covered 18 counties in the state: Alexander, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Saline, Union, Washington, White, and Williamson.