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Changing the election district process

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 4:00 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 4:01 p.m. CDT

If you are tired of our state legislature drawing election districts every 10 years in a manner to best ensure their re-election — gerrymandering — you might be interested in a statewide petition drive to change the process. Under the umbrella of Yes for Independent Maps, a group has drawn a proposed amendment to the Illinois Constitution that would place the redistricting power in the hands of a bipartisan/nonpartisan independent commission. The petition drive is to place the proposal on the Fall 2014 ballot.

The effort has drawn editorial support from around the state and is endorsed by various good government groups such as Business and Professional People for the Public Interest, Independent Voters of Illinois and the Independent Precinct Organization. The only qualification for signing the petition is to be a registered voter in Illinois, and doing so will not prevent you from signing a partisan petition for a candidate for public office.

There are many things wrong with state government, to which our current financial crisis attests. Electing more effective legislators responsive to the public interest is obviously necessary. Changing how the districts are drawn is a step in that direction.

Voters should select Representatives. Representatives (and Senators) should not select their voters.

Several people in the county have petitions, and you may have already heard from them. The good ladies at Four and Twenty Restaurant are allowing me to set up shop at the front of the house for the next several Saturday mornings, so if you want to help out (over 270,000 signatures are needed by April), please stop by and sign up. More information is available at www.independentmaps.org.

Steve Gunning

Princeton

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