77% of Illinois voters believe corruption in Illinois government is widespread, according to a 2012 Simon Poll. They’re right: A recent University of Illinois study ranked Illinois the third most corrupt state. Voter cynicism is widespread. According to the National Conference on Citizenship, only 15% of Illinoisans believe state government does the right thing most of time. Yet we can’t hold politicians accountable because they have taken over the redistricting process.
Political leaders own redistricting—the process of drawing legislative maps. Behind closed doors, they rig the district boundaries to control who will be elected, leaving voters without a voice. These same politicians choose their voters, instead of the people deciding who will represent them. Legislators have little reason to listen to the needs of Illinois residents, because there’s no way for voters to hold them accountable. Last year, Illinois House incumbents won 97% of their general election races; two-thirds of them did not even face a challenger.
Our coalition aims to fix the broken process by putting an amendment on the November 2014 ballot. Our proposed constitutional amendment would take redistricting out of the hands of politicians and give the power back to the people. This amendment brings independence to a broken, unfair, and secret process that gives politicians too much control. We need to put the voters back in charge and our proposed system is transparent, nonpartisan and independent from the legislature.
Right now we are working to collect the signatures necessary to place the initiative on the November 2014 ballot. Petitioning will continue through April 2014, and then Illinoisans will be able to vote for real change in state government on Nov. 4, 2014.
Do you want to get involved? Please reach out to us from our website