Opponents of a voter referendum that would change the way Illinois builds its political boundaries win a round on the ongoing tug of war.
Cook County Judge Diane Larsen ruled the November referendum is unconstitutional and booted it from the ballot. The Independent Map Amendment is expected to appeal the decision to the Illinois Supreme Court.
The Independent Map Amendment has called for creation of an 11-member commission to oversee drawing of political boundaries. Governor Rauner expressed his disappointment in a statement:
“Today's ruling is a harsh reminder that the political system in Illinois is in need of major reforms. I hope the decision to deny voters the chance to consider the Independent Map redistricting referendum is appealed and reversed.
“Independent redistricting is badly needed in our state. A stunning two-thirds of incumbents will be running unopposed in November. That’s certainly not because the politicians in charge are doing such a good job in Springfield. It means the system is broken.
“Legislators in power could have placed the Independent Maps referendum directly on the ballot and avoided this court decision. Instead, they chose to play politics in an effort to protect their own power.
“That is wrong.
“We have it backwards in Illinois. Voters should be able to choose their elected officials through an independently-drawn map that ensures competitive elections. Instead, we have politicians choosing their voters, putting politics ahead of people.
“Independent Maps has strong support from both Democrats and Republicans. It has strong support from non-partisan good government groups. So this ruling is a definitely a setback for the people of Illinois.
“If this decision remains in place, it will prove that we need to put political reform at the top of our legislative agenda. We need to fix our broken political system to ensure taxpayers win instead of the insiders.”