State Senator Donald P. DeWitte (R-St. Charles) joined his colleagues today in Springfield showing support for a bipartisan proposal (Senate Joint Resolution-Constitutional Amendment 4) to put a fair maps amendment on the ballot for the next election, giving people the power to pick their legislators instead of letting lawmakers pick their voters.
“This is something that I hear often from my constituents—they want the ability to vote for a new way to draw legislative districts,” said Sen. DeWitte. “They are tired of the political gerrymandering that takes place in this state, and want to do something about it. It is my hope that we can pass this constitutional amendment this spring to bring them this ability.”
Every 10 years, following the decennial U.S. Census, Illinois’ Congressional and General Assembly maps are redrawn. Illinois currently has a winner-take-all system for the redistricting process, where the politicians who are in control right now have the power to draw the maps for the next 10 years. This gives them the ability to shift district lines to create an advantage for the members of their party, which is often referred to as “gerrymandering.” This system is what creates strangely-shaped districts and uncompetitive elections.
Senate Joint Resolution-Constitutional Amendment 4, sponsored by lawmakers from both parties, would give voters the opportunity to amend the Constitution to create a new, non-partisan system for drawing maps. It would establish an independent redistricting commission, increase transparency in the process and provide for public hearings to allow Illinois residents to weigh in.
SJR-CA 4 would place the question of fair maps on the ballot for the next statewide election. So far, however, entrenched political leaders haven’t allowed similar bills to advance, despite a nationwide call for fair map plans from members of both parties.
Sen. DeWitte is giving the people of the 33rd Senate District the opportunity to voice their support for fairer maps in Illinois by clicking here and signing the fair maps petition.
“If you think a fair maps amendment should be placed on the ballot, I encourage you to voice that opinion by filling out my petition,” said Sen. DeWitte.