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Citizen map group looks to change redistricting methods

Published: Friday, May 2, 2014 12:05 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, May 2, 2014 12:18 a.m. CDT
Caption
(AP photo)
House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, speaks at a House committee hearing April 1 at the Capitol in Springfield. A group that wants to take legislative redistricting powers away from state lawmakers is taking the next step toward letting voters decide on the issue.

SPRINGFIELD – The group that wants to take legislative redistricting powers away from Illinois lawmakers says it has almost twice the signatures needed to let voters decide the issue in November.

A nonpartisan group called “Yes for Independent Maps” announced it will submit 532,000 signatures to the Illinois State Board of Elections in Springfield on Thursday.

The measure would create an independent commission to draw a new political map for the legislature every decade.

Supporters say lawmakers use the process to hurt political foes and limit voter choice in elections.

Chicago Democrat and House Speaker Michael Madigan criticized the proposal as a power grab by Republicans.

A lawsuit filed Tuesday by a Democratic party attorney argues the measure goes beyond the constitutional limits of a voter initiative amendment.

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