Voters could decide on redistricting

Published 10/07 2013 04:26PM

Updated 10/11 2013 01:47PM

Update: 10:09 pm, 10/9/13, Wednesday
SPRINGFIELD -- Do you know who your state senator is? What about your state representative? If you don't, there could be a proposal on the ballot next year to help. WCIA-3's Steve Staeger has more from Your Local Election Headquarters.

If you've ever looked at a political map, it looks like someone took spaghetti noodles and threw them at the wall, waiting to see what stuck. This proposal wants to change the way those maps are drawn in an effort to make it fair.

"Gerrymandering is not a partisan issue. Republicans will do it and Democrats will do it."

Gerrymandering is a big word with a simple definition. Every ten years, lawmakers get to play cartographers, redrawing lines for political maps. They can then use that power to draw maps which favor themselves.

"Right now, we have people literally behind closed doors that are drawing maps to favor or hurt a certain party."

Michael Kolenc is trying to change that. He's with the group Yes for Independent Maps. Members are collecting signatures to get a proposal on the ballot next November. It would create an independent commission to be in charge of drawing political maps and doing it in a fair way.

"Keeping communities of interest intact and using municipal boundaries as part of the drawing process, rather than splitting up neighborhoods and towns so that you're benefiting or hurting a candidate."

Some critics say lawmakers are best suited for the job because they represent the entire state. But, Kolenc says this commission would do the same, leaving politics at the door.

"Illinois' government is in terrible shape. There's a high level of cynicism out there. There's corruption and things aren't getting done in the statehouse."

You may remember there was a plan a few years ago to do something similar, but it didn't get enough signatures to get on the ballot. The group has until May 4, 2014, to collect 300,000 signatures.
Original: 4:26 pm, 10/7/13, Monday
SPRINGFIELD -- When you head to the polls next year, you could vote on a proposal to change the way Illinois draws political districts. Every ten years, the state redraws boundary lines for congressional, state house and senate districts.

Currently, the General Assembly controls how those lines are drawn. But, one group wants to take politics out of it and put it in the hands of an independent commission. Currently, it's collecting signatures to get in on the November 2014 ballot.

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