New map uses census data to fix Voting Rights Act issues by creating
more minority districts and better opportunities for all voters
CHICAGO, IL – On Wednesday in federal court, Illinois Republican leaders filed a proposed legislative redistricting map that fixes flaws in the Democrats’ politician-drawn map by creating more districts with a minority voting-age populations above 50 percent and better opportunities for voters.
“We submitted a proposal that fixes specific constitutional problems with the current map that had only served to keep entrenched incumbents in power,” Illinois Senate Republican Caucus Chair Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington). “Democrats led by Governor Pritzker had only one thing in mind when drawing their map – protecting politicians at the expense of the people of Illinois.”
The plaintiffs’ introduced map, created by the GOP’s legal redistricting team – not incumbent politicians – included:
- 11 Latino Citizen Voting Age Population (CVAP) House districts compared to only 4 Latino CVAP House Districts introduced in the Democrat’s second map;
- 5 Latino CVAP Senate Districts compared to only 2 Latino CVAP Senate Districts introduced in the Democrats’ second map; and
- 1 additional CVAP African American House District in the Metro East.
“During depositions, witnesses confirmed under oath that the maps passed by the Democrats and signed by Gov. Pritzker protected incumbents by having sitting politicians draw their own districts,” said Barickman. “As noted in court filings, Democratic lawmakers were drawing their own districts without even using data on minority populations.”
When Gov. Pritzker twice broke his promise to voters and signed the Pritzker/Democrat maps into law, he claimed he had reviewed them and verified that they “ensure Illinois’ diversity is reflected in the halls of government”.
“This map nearly triples the number of Latino Senate and House Districts and adds another African-American district,” said Barickman. “Either the Governor didn’t really review the politician-drawn maps, or he agreed to protect politicians at the expense of Latino and African American voters in Illinois.”
“Will the Governor finally admit he was wrong and support our court filing that significantly increases the number of minority districts for the next decade,” asked Barickman. “Or will he continue to protect politicians who have admitted under oath that they were only looking out for themselves?”
Wednesday’s filing in federal court comes after a three-judge panel ruled the initial map drawn by Democrats unconstitutional as it violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. According to page 35 of the ruling, “In other words, the General Assembly may not dilute a large percentage of voters to advance a preferred political outcome.”
Recognizing that their first map would fail in court, the Democratic majority quickly passed a second map with the same lack of transparency and little to no input from the public. Unfortunately for the people of Illinois, the Democratic majority again chose not to create accurate minority-based districts and instead focused on protecting their incumbents and maintaining their power.
The three-judge panel has stated that the plaintiffs and defendants should expect a hearing to begin on December 6, 2021. Due to the high profile of the case, the court will be making accommodations for the public to attend in-person.