Syverson sponsors People’s Independent Maps Act
Aims to restore public trust in Illinois’ redistricting process
Seeking to address Illinois’ longstanding history of gerrymandering, State Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) is sponsoring legislation that would remove politicians from Illinois’ redistricting process.
Senate Bill 1325, otherwise known as the People’s Independent Maps Act, would change the redistricting process so that a 16-member Independent Commission appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court would create the redistricting plans for Legislative, Representative, and Congressional Districts. Currently, state law allows legislators to draw district boundaries.
“Under Illinois’ current system, politicians have the power to draw the district maps for the next ten years, manipulating the system to silence voters and keep majority-party politicians in power,” said Sen. Syverson. “This proposal is our way of seeking to restore public trust in the system by putting an end to the absurd practice of politicians picking their voters.”
Under the People’s Independent Maps Act, legislators would be able to recuse themselves from the map-making process altogether. The Act also implements the following changes to Illinois’ redistricting process:
- Gives the Supreme Court the power to appoint sixteen independent, citizen commissioners to the Independent Redistricting Commission within 30 days of becoming law.
- The makeup of the Commission would be required to reflect the ethnic, gender and racial demographics of the state.
- Party affiliation would be evenly split in addition to members without party affiliation.
- Legislators, state employees and lobbyists are prohibited from serving on the commission.
- The Commission would be required to hold at least 10 public hearings throughout the state before adopting a plan, with at least 4 hearings after a map is proposed.
- The commission will release a map within 30 days of receipt of the census redistricting data.
- This legislation would only apply to the 2021 redistricting cycle.
“We have a real opportunity to move this state away from the corruption and mismanagement that has led to our broken redistricting system,” said Sen. Syverson. “Now is the time to put pen to paper and give the power back to Illinois voters.”
As well as co-sponsoring Senate Bill 1325, Senator Syverson also serves as the Sub-Minority Spokesperson of the Senate Northern Illinois Redistricting Subcommittee.