Illinois Democrats' Gerrymandering Is a Partisan Disgrace
5 min read
fairly difficult
By manipulating electoral maps to preserve their own majority, lawmakers in Springfield deprive voters of meaningful choice at the polls.
Illinois State Capitol in Springfield (rruntsch/Getty Images)

Days ago, Stacey Abrams spoke to a crowded ballroom at a Chicago Foundation for Women event. "When you break democracy for anyone, you break it for everyone," she said.

The irony was palpable. Abrams spoke of the Prairie State as a place where voting rights are upheld and elections are fairly handled. And policymakers here can claim some of the strongest voting-access laws in the country.



But in reality, representative government in Illinois is broken.

Though the state's nearly 13 million residents can cast a ballot easily enough, manipulation of electoral maps by a Democratic Party obsessed with maintaining its stranglehold on power deprives them of meaningful choice on those ballots. When maps are rigged, it deters challengers and leaves more incumbents uncontested. That, in turn, discourages voters from turning out — and means that even when they do, the outcome is a foregone conclusion.

When campaigning for governor, J. B. Pritzker promised that if elected, he'd put an end to this state of affairs. He pledged to veto any plan drawn up by lawmakers and political-party leaders rather than an independent redistricting commission. Yet in June, he signed into law maps drawn by Democrats in the state legislature without any Republican participation. And three weeks ago, after those maps were challenged in court and it became apparent…
Adam Schuster
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